Missing plane: signals "compatible" with black box picked up. Thousands pray in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An Australian ship engaged in the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 , which went down in the southern Indian Ocean March 8 last, has picked up new signals "compatible" with the frequency information from the plane's black box. Canberra, however, is still awaiting official confirmation before announcing the discovery of the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A locator placed on board the Australian Navy vessel - said the former defense minister and current search coordinator Angus Houston - has picked up "signs consistent with those issued by the aircraft's black box".
Over the weekend another vessel engaged in the search, from the Chinese navy, localized the signals sent by the black box in a delimited portion of the Indian Ocean. The two sightings are increasing hope of finding the plane, in an increasingly tight race against time because the electronic recording device sends signals for the first 30 days after an accident. At least 26 nations are engaged in a massive search operation, which, however, has failed to provide any concrete outcome.
The discovery is a key element in order to give a plausible explanation for what has been called "the greatest mystery of "modern civil aviation. "Time is running out - adds Angus Houston - its batteries are running low".
Meanwhile, yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, some Buddhist leaders held a massive prayer vigil for the Malaysia Airlines passengers, which was joined by a few friends and relatives of the victims from China and believers of other religions. Armed with votive lights and candles, about 4 thousand people gathered to offer "prayers and positive vibes" for the families of passengers and crew members. The Chinese delegation wore white T-shirts with the words "Pray for flight MH370" and was led by Beijing's Ambassador to Malaysia, Huang Hui Kang.
"This is not a prayer
ceremony for the dead - said Liow Tiong Lai, one of the organizers of the event
- because we have not yet found the bodies. This is a prayer vigil asking for
blessings and for the airplane to be found".
The Boeing 777-200, which had 239 people on board including a crew of 12, disappeared on 8 March over the sea south of Vietnam. According to the passenger list, Flight 370 carried 153 passengers from China, 38 from Malaysia, 12 from Indonesia, and others from Australia, Europe and the United States. So far, Malaysia Airlines has had a good record, with nearly four decades without major accidents. Its worst incident dates back to 1977, when 100 people died. Every day, the company carries up to 37,000 passengers to 80 destinations worldwide. Still, it has lost money in recent years due to competition from low-cost competitors, including Malaysia-based Air Asia. Every day it carries up to 37 thousand passengers to 80 destinations worldwide. Days ago it recorded another incident, when an airplane - from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul - made an emergency landing in Hong Kong for a fault in the main power generator.