PERTH, April 7 – The search for a missing Malaysian airliner entered its 31st day today, with 12 aircraft and 14 ships expected to scour an area of 234,000 sq km in the southern Indian Ocean. The search teams are expected to follow up on the pulse signal detected thrice by two vessels over the last few days, which the authorities could not as yet confirm whether it came from the black box of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight, MH370. The Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, and the Chinese vessel, Haixun 01, claimed to have picked up the signal, of 37.5 kHz, similar to that emitted by a black box.

The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) said in a statement Monday that good weather was expected throughout the day, with showers in the afternoon, in the designated search area. It said Ocean Shield was continuing investigations in its own area while another Australian vessel, HMS Echo, was heading to assist Haixun 01. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.

A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.

– Photo By: AFP Photo

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