Malaysia vows not to give up on MH370

2014-04-05 14:57
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Perth - Malaysia vowed on Saturday that it would not give up on trying to find the missing jetliner and announced details of a multinational investigation team to solve the aviation mystery, as the search for the plane entered its fifth week.

Military and civilian planes, ships with deep-sea searching equipment and a British nuclear submarine scoured a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast, in the increasingly urgent hunt for debris and the "black box" recorders that hold vital information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's last hours.

After weeks of fruitless looking, officials face the daunting prospect that sound-emitting beacons in the flight and voice recorders will soon fall silent as their batteries die after sounding electronic "pings" for a month.

'Pulse' detected

China's official news agency, Xinhua, reported late on Saturday that a Chinese ship that is part of the multinational search effort detected a "pulse" signal in southern Indian Ocean waters on Saturday. The report said it was not determined whether the signal was related to the missing jet.

The report said a black box detector deployed by the vessel, Haixun 01, picked up a signal at 37.5Hz per second at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude.

The Australian government agency co-ordinating the search would not immediately comment on the report.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's defence minister and acting transport minister, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that the cost of mounting the search was immaterial compared to providing solace for the families of those on board by establishing what happened.

"I can only speak for Malaysia, and Malaysia will not stop looking for MH370," Hishammuddin said.

The Boeing 777 disappeared March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. So far, no trace of the jet has been found.

Independent investigator

At the media briefing, Hishammuddin announced that an independent investigator would be appointed and three main areas of inquiry would be pursued. One team will look at airworthiness, including maintenance, structures and systems; another will examine operations, such as flight recorders and meteorology; and a third will consider medical and human factors.

The overall investigation team will include officials and experts from Australia -  which as the nearest country to the search zone is currently heading the hunt, with other nations' help - as well as China, the United States, Britain and France, Hishammuddin said.

 

- AP
Read more on:    australia  |  malaysia  |  malaysia airlines flight mh370  |  aviation
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