MH370 mystery: Plane debris found on Indian Ocean island part of Boeing 777, says Malaysia
Malaysia said on Sunday that airplane debris that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been identified as being from a Boeing 777.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia said on Sunday that airplane debris that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been identified as being from a Boeing 777, the same model as Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which vanished early last year.
"We know the flaperon has been officially identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft," Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement.
"This has been verified by French authorities together with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Malaysian team comprising the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370."
Malaysian officials also said on Sunday that they would seek help from territories near the island where a suspected piece of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was discovered to try to find more plane debris.
Government officials will ask territories near the French island of Reunion to alert them if they find any debris that could be from a plane, said a transport ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
A wing flap suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was found on Wednesday on Reunion. It arrived Saturday at a French military testing facility, where it will be analyzed by experts.
Experts will try to establish whether the part comes from Flight 370, which disappeared on 8 March, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
The experts are expected to start their inquiry on Wednesday. On Monday, an investigating judge will meet with Malaysian authorities and representatives of the French aviation investigative agency, known as the BEA.
Lai said in a statement on Sunday that representatives from Malaysia, the US, China, France and Boeing would take part in the verification of the flaperon.
About two-thirds of those aboard Flight 370 were Chinese.
Liow said Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation was reaching out to authorities in territories near Reunion to allow experts "to conduct more substantive analysis should there be more debris coming on to land, providing us more clues to the missing aircraft."
"I urge all parties to allow this crucial investigation process to take its course. I reiterate this is for the sake of the next of kin of the loved ones of MH370 who would be anxiously awaiting news and have suffered much over this time," Liow said. "We will make an announcement once the verification process has been completed."
(With agency inputs)
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