Malaysia said on Friday that a piece of plane debris discovered in Mauritius was from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.
The Boeing 777 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, sparking a two-year search that has turned up few leads.
Analysis by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau had found that the debris was consistent with the trailing edge of an aircraft wing, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement.
Two pieces of plane debris were previously confirmed as being from the missing jet. The first was recovered from the French island of Reunion in July 2015, while the second was found on the island of Pemba, off the coast of Tanzania in June 2016.
The wing flap recovered earlier this year washed ashore on an island off Tanzania was identified as belonging to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The flap was found in June by residents on Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania, and officials had previously said it was highly likely to have come from the missing Boeing 777.
An analysis by experts at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is heading up the search for the plane, subsequently confirmed the part was indeed from the aircraft, the agency said in a statement.
Several pieces of wreckage suspected to have come from the plane have washed ashore on coastlines around the Indian Ocean since the aircraft vanished with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on 8 March, 2014.
It was earlier reported that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau anticipates search crews will complete their sweep of the 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) search zone in the Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast by December.
Meanwhile, oceanographers have been analyzing the wing flaps from La Reunion and Tanzania in the hope of identifying a possible new search area through drift modeling. But a new search would require a new funding commitment, with Malaysia, Australia and China agreeing in July that the $160 million hunt will be suspended once the current stretch of ocean is exhausted unless new evidence emerges that would pinpoint a specific location of the aircraft.
The new piece of debris found brings to six the number of pieces of debris the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has determined are almost certainly, or are definitely, from Flight MH370.
Another piece of wing found a year ago on La Reunion Island, near Madagascar, was positively identified by French officials.
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Oct 7, 2016 11:05 IST