The ship Haixun 01 detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz, the same frequency that an airplane's black box is expected to emit

China said on Saturday that a patrol ship carrying a black box detector had picked up a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, where aircraft and vessels have been scouring the remote waters for any debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing.

The ship Haixun 01 detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz - the same frequency that an airplane's black box is expected to emit, the State run Xinhua news agency said.

The signal was picked up at 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east latitude, Xinhua said, adding that it was "yet to be established whether it is related to the missing jet".

Aircraft and vessels from a number of countries have been scouring the waters of the southern Indian Ocean in a race against time to find any trace of the aircraft, which disappeared on March 8.

Batteries of the black box, which records flight data and is also equipped with an underwater signalling beacon, last for 30 days, leaving only until Sunday or Monday for the black box to be traced from its signals.

AP adds:

The Australian government agency coordinating the search for the missing plane said early Sunday that the electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by the Chinese ship are consistent with those of an aircraft black box. But retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the search coordination agency, said they “cannot verify any connection” at this stage between the electronic signals and the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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