As the hunt for missing Malayasia Airlines Flight 370 continues, searchers are zeroing in on small sounds picked up underwater in the past couple of days.
Those sounds, according to Australian officials, resemble those from a plane’s black box. The sounds have been detected in a patch of the southern Indian Ocean.
In a news conference, retired Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search, said it is an encouraging lead. Houston urged the media to treat information about the lead carefully and said the sounds were “fleeting acoustic events.
Flight 370 vanished March 8 while en route from Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people.
The chance to find the data recorders has diminished, as black box emissions typically only last about a month. The “pulse signal” detected over the weekend came from an area where white objects were seen floating, according to The Associated Press.
On Sunday, family of those missing attended a prayer service. Thousands of Malaysians attended and offered support.
The U.S. Navy and other countries are assisting in search efforts. The British military said its navy ship HMS Echo, which has sound-locating equipment, is there, according to a report from the AP.
An estimated 12 military and civilian planes and 13 ships took part in the search on Sunday, according to the AP.