Australia's prime minister said Friday authorities are confident that a series of signals detected in a remote patch of the Indian Ocean are coming from the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing almost a month ago after departing from Kuala Lumpur.
"It's been very much narrowed down because we've now had a series of detections, some for quite a long period of time," Prime Minster Tony Abbott told reporters in China on Friday.
The prime minister noted that they were also running out of time when the signals would be transmitted. "Nevertheless, we're getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade," he said.
"We are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires."
The first signal was heard on Saturday and there have now been a total of four signals detected from what is believed to be the black box.
"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometers, but confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost 4.5 kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on that flight," Abbott said.
Meanwhile, an Australian official said Friday a new fifth signal detected by a search plane was unlikely to be related to aircraft black boxes.
"The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analyzed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to the aircraft black boxes," Joint Agency Coordination Center Chief Angus Houston said.
"On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370," he said.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 8 went it mysteriously vanished on the way to Beijing. No debris from the plane has been found to date.
The prime minister said authorities have significantly narrowed in on the search area for the missing flight.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.