Asia

MH370 Search: New Items Wash Ashore On Reunion

 

 

A Chinese water bottle and an Indonesian cleaning product have washed up on Reunion Island, where debris that could be from MH370 was found this week.

Experts are preparing to analyse the piece of aircraft, which could be part of a wing from the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished last year.

Malaysian officials are confident the piece is from MH370, as a police helicopter searches the remote Indian Ocean island for more debris.

MH370 Search: New Items Wash Ashore On Reunion Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said on Friday it is “almost certain” that the piece is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. A day earlier, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said the debris is “very likely to be from a Boeing 777”.

Aviation experts have identified the debris from photos as a wing flaperon, used to control the plane’s roll and provide extra lift or drag.

Malaysia experts are due to arrive in the island to examine the piece, before the debris is flown to the French city of Toulouse, where it is due to arrive on Saturday.

It will be examined at a special defence facility used for aircraft testing and analysis, according to the French Defence Ministry.

‘Wing debris’ Experts are expected to be able to use a code on the wing piece to ascertain if it is from MH370 – which should take one or two days.

French TV showed images of the debris bearing the mark “657 BB” – which would match with a code in the Boeing 777 manual for a right-wing flaperon, according to a document posted on aviation websites.

The remains of what could be a suitcase were also found on the same stretch of rocky beach as the debris, in the town of Saint Andre.

MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, mainly Chinese citizens.

Investigators believe it headed south into the Indian Ocean after disappearing from radar off the Thailand coast.

Australia has been leading the hunt for the plane, using sonar to trawl a massive expanse of ocean some 1,000 miles off its west coast.

Reunion is about 2,500 miles west of the current search area off the Australian coast.

Oceanographers say it is possible that currents could have swept the debris such a distance – though the piece, even if confirmed as part of MH370, is unlikely to help investigators figure out where the plane came down.

It could, however, provide crucial clues as to the cause of the crash.

The find might also offer a measure of comfort to relatives of the passengers, Mr Razak said.

“We have had many false alarms before, but for the sake of the families who have lost loved ones, and suffered such heartbreaking uncertainty, I pray that we will find out the truth so that they may have closure and peace,” he said.

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