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‘Pulses’ in search for missing jet remain unverified, official says

A woman wrote a message ahead of a mass prayer for the missing passengers and crew who were aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.

EPA

A woman wrote a message ahead of a mass prayer for the missing passengers and crew who were aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.

PERTH, Australia — The head of the multinational search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet says that electronic pulses reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship are an encouraging sign but stresses they are not yet verified.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told reporters in Perth that two naval ships with high-technology equipment are being sent to the area where the signals were reported to try to confirm or rule out whether they were from the missing plane’s flight recorders.

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He says, ‘‘This is an important and encouraging lead’’ but is urging caution in drawing any conclusions before the signals are verified.

He says that the Australian vessel Ocean Shield also is investigating a separate acoustic detection.

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