11 April 2014
Confident: Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told a press conference in China he is increasingly confident that signals received in the search for MH370 are from the plane’s black box.
Earlier, The West Australian aviation editor Geoffrey Thomas set social media alight by tweeting: “Black boxes of MH370 may have been found. PM to make announcement at 11.45am [Perth time, 1.45pm AEST].”
However the Prime Minister made no mention of that fact during a scheduled 1pm press conference, and his staff said there was no conference planned for 1.45pm.
Crew on the Ocean Shield deploy a towed pinger locator in an attempt to find the black box. Photo: AP
A spokeswoman for the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which former Defence chief Angus Houston is heading, would not confirm the reports the black box may have been located.
“There’s no further update at this stage,” she said. “There’s nothing to report.”
Mr Houston, the head of the search’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre, has previously said authorities believed a number of ‘pings’ detected by the Australian ship Ocean Shield and and Australia sea patrol aircraft were “from a man-made source”.
“The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight but shows potential of being from a man-made source,” he said on Thursday night.
The four signals detected since Saturday has seen the search focus honed to about 58,000 square kilometres, from more than 200,000 square kilometres only days ago.
More to come