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Dublin: -2°C Tuesday 18 January 2022

Island 'on alert' as more plane wreckage washes up

Could it be from the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight?

Workers looking for wreckage.
Workers looking for wreckage.
Image: Ben Curtis/PA

INVESTIGATORS PROBING MISSING flight MH370 collected more debris on an Indian Ocean island today.

Malaysia has urged authorities in the region to be on alert for wreckage washing up on their shores.

Locals on La Reunion island have been combing the shores since a Boeing 777 wing part was found last Wednesday, sparking speculation it may be the first tangible evidence that the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.

However, authorities cast doubt on whether the new debris was linked to MH370 and a source close to the investigation in Paris said “no object or debris likely to come from a plane” had been placed into evidence today.

The plane disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board.

Early today an AFP photographer saw police collect a mangled piece of metal inscribed with two Chinese characters and attached to what appears to be a leather-covered handle.

The debris, measuring about 100 square centimetres (15 square inches), was placed into an iron case.

Also today, a man handed police a piece of debris measuring 70 centimetres (27 inches), guessing it was part of a plane door.

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Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said civil aviation authorities were reaching out to their counterparts in other Indian Ocean territories to be on the lookout for further debris.

This is to allow the experts to conduct more substantive analysis should there be more debris coming onto land, providing us more clues to the missing aircraft.

He also confirmed in a statement that the wing part found onWednesday on the French island had been “officially identified” as from a Boeing 777 — making it virtually certain that it was from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Flight MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to ever be lost at sea.

A spokesman for Australia’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said that more “objects are being brought to local stations but nothing obvious so far”, adding: “And no door.”

Read: Washed up wing debris confirmed as Boeing 777, the same plane as missing MH370

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