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SEARCHERS CONFIDENT ON BLACK BOX

Associated Press

PERTH, Australia - Australia's prime minister says searchers hunting for the missing Malaysian jetliner are confident underwater signals that have been picked up are coming from its black box.

Tony Abbott told reporters while on an official visit to China that Australian authorities are confident they know the location of the black box from the plane that disappeared without a trace March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

The plane's black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorders, could help solve the mystery of why Flight 370 veered so far off course.

An air and sea hunt for the Malaysian jet that vanished with 239 people aboard resumed today in the same swath of the southern Indian Ocean where an underwater sensor made the fifth detection of a signal in recent days.

An Australian air force P-3 Orion, which has been dropping sonar buoys into the water near where four sounds were heard earlier, picked up a "possible signal" Thursday that may be from a man-made source, said Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search for Flight 370 off Australia's west coast.

The Australian ship Ocean Shield, which is towing a U.S. Navy device to detect signal beacons from a plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders, picked up two underwater sounds Tuesday. Two sounds it detected Saturday were determined to be consistent with the pings emitted from the flight recorders, or "black boxes."

The searchers are trying to pinpoint the location of the source of the underwater signals so they can send down a robotic submersible to look for wreckage and the flight recorders.

Houston's coordinating center said the area to be searched for floating debris today has been narrowed to 18,036 square miles of ocean extending from 1,400 miles northwest of Perth.

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