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Premier lauds Australia's work in MH370 search

Updated: 2014-04-10 07:20
By Hou Liqiang in Beijing and Zhao Yinan in Sanya, Hainan ( China Daily)

Premier Li Keqiang praised Australia's efforts in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, and he said China appreciates the country's assistance.

Li made the comments during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday in Sanya, Hainan province.

Li said that Abbott has assured him that Australia is confident about the ongoing search for the missing jetliner, and the search has been limited to a small area.

The Beijing-bound Boeing 777, carrying 239 people, including 154 Chinese, has been missing shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. The search, now narrowed down to an area in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia's western coast, is being coordinated by Australia.

Abbott said Australia will spare no effort in the search.

Fresh signals

During an update of the hunt for MH370 on Wednesday, Australian officials said that two new "ping" signals had been heard.

The signals, which could be from one of the plane's black box, bring to four the number of signals detected in recent days within the search area and have sparked fresh hope that the jetliner will be found, Reuters reported.

But Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, continued to urge caution, as the task of searching the region remains enormous.

Multiple floating objects were also spotted by patrol aircraft in an area where the Australian ship Ocean Shield detected the signals, Xinhua News Agency quoted officials aboard the Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 as saying on Wednesday.

NPO offers help

Meanwhile, in Beijing, a major US grassroots air safety organization said it is going to help families of MH370 victims raise questions later this month to senior Boeing officials about the missing plane.

Gail Dunham, executive director of the National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation, said on Wednesday during a briefing for family members at the Chinese capital's Metropark Lido Hotel that the nonprofit group is a shareholder in Boeing and thus can pose the questions at a shareholders' meeting set for April 28.

"On April 28, I will be at the Boeing shareholder meeting" in Chicago, Dunham said. "We will present (the list of questions) to the entire board of directors before hundreds of people."

"We understand Boeing at this time is not saying anything to avoid speculation. However, we would like to present those questions and push for answers," Dunham said.

Dunham said her organization will also help to see if someone from the US National Transportation Safety Board can attend a briefing for the family members in Beijing.

A number of family members already have several questions they want Dunham to ask Boeing.

One family member wants to know why Boeing "was quiet during the incident and whether the company is hiding any inside information from the public".

Dunham encouraged family members to continue their search for the truth.

"Family members have a need to know, and they want timely and accurate information. I have never met a family member who said the truth is so terrible and should be withheld from the family," she said.

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