Chinese Ship Detects 'Pulse Signal' in Search for Missing Jet

It is still unclear whether the signal was from the black box of flight MH370 which disappeared on March 8.

Search for missing plane
An unidentified object is photographed during search operations for wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean, Australia, Friday, April 4, 2014. AP

A Chinese ship involved in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane has detected a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, the Xinhua state news agency reported Saturday.

The pulse signal discovered by the Haixun 01 ship had a frequency of 37.5 kHz, the report said.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that it was still unclear whether the signal was from the black box of flight MH370, which holds vital information about the jet's last hours.

The batteries in the black box last about 30 days, meaning that the device is technically able to send signals until early next week.

The news comes after Malaysia vowed to intensify the search for the missing jet.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said his country would not stop searching for the jet no matter the cost of the ongoing operations.

"The search goes beyond dollars and cents," he told a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur. "Malaysia will not stop looking for [flight] MH370."

His comments followed reports that the search for the Boeing aircraft, with 239 people on board, has become the most expensive search-and-rescue operation in recent history.

The Beijing-bound flight disappeared on March 8 after taking off from the Malaysian capital.

"The search operation has been difficult, challenging and complex," he said. "In spite of all this, our determination remains undiminished."

"We will continue the search with the same level of vigor and intensity," he added. "We owe this to the families of those on board, and to the wider world."

Up to 13 aircraft and 11 ships have joined in the search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Perth, Australia.

A British submarine and two Australian vessels with underwater search equipment have intensified the underwater search in the hope of picking up a battery-powered signal from the plane's black box. This signal could expire soon.
The search is focused on about 217,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean, some 1,700 kilometres north-west of Perth.

Hishammuddin said that Malaysia will continue to lead the investigation and has accredited Australia, China, the United States, Britain and France to become part of the team.

He said the investigation team will be divided into three groups looking into airworthiness, operations, and medical and human factors, respectively.
Hishammuddin denied allegations by Malaysian opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim that Malaysia was hiding something and was not forthright in providing information about the incident.

"These allegations are completely untrue," he said. "As I have said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics."