An Australian official overseeing the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane says underwater sounds picked up by equipment on an Australian navy ship are consistent with transmissions from black box recorders on a plane.
Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean, calls it "very encouraging." But he said Monday that it may take days to confirm whether signals picked up by the ship Ocean Shield are indeed from the flight recorders on Flight 370.
He says the position of the noise needs to be further refined, and then an underwater autonomous vehicle can be sent in to investigate.
"Clearly, this is a most promising lead. And probably in the search so far, it's probably the best information that we have had," Houston said. "Again, I would ask all of you to treat this information cautiously and responsibly until such time as we can provide an unequivocal determination. We haven't found the aircraft yet; we need the confirmation. And I really stress this; it's very important."
The plane vanished on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.