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

It’s looking more and more like the debris is from the doomed airliner.

Updated 3.18 pm

wing Source: Euronews

PLANE WRECKAGE THAT washed up on an Indian Ocean island was from a Boeing 777,  meaning the part is almost certainly from missing flight MH370.

MH370 is the only Boeing 777 unaccounted for and Malaysian authorities have confirmed that the debris is from a Boeing 777.

The debris, part of a plane wing, could provide the first tangible clue towards unlocking the mystery surrounding the Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared in March last year with 239 people on board.

“I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean,” Malaysia’s deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP.

The two-metre piece of wreckage is to be sent to France for analysis, with hopes high that it could turn out to be the first tangible proof the plane went down in the Indian Ocean.

“We are increasingly confident that this debris is from MH370,” Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau which is leading the MH370 search, said.

Source: euronews (in English)/YouTube

The debris washed up on the French island of La Reunion, some 4,000 kilometres from the oceanic region where MH370 was thought to have gone down in March last year.

The recovered object is expected to be flown to a testing site in France near the city of Toulouse for analysis by aviation authorities and could reach there by Saturday.

Authorities have warned, however, that one small piece of plane debris was unlikely to completely clear up one of aviation’s greatest puzzles.

The Malaysia Airlines flight was one of only three Boeing 777s to have been involved in major incidents, along with the downing of the MH17 over Ukraine last year and the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco airport in 2013 that left three dead.

The wing component found on the French island of La Reunion bears the part number “657 BB”, according to photos of the debris.

“From the part number, it is confirmed that it is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. This information is from MAS (Malaysia Airlines). They have informed me,” the minister said.

Authorities involved in the search at sea, guided by the analysis of signals from the plane that were detected by a satellite, believe it went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

But no confirmed physical evidence has ever been found and Malaysian authorities in January declared that all on board were presumed dead.

Vietnam Malaysia Plane A Vietnamese Air Force crew member looks at a map on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for MH370. Source: PA

Mystery

Flight MH370 was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it mysteriously turned off course and vanished on 8 March last year.

For relatives of those aboard, torn between wanting closure and believing their loved ones were still somehow alive, the discovery was yet another painful turn on an emotional rollercoaster.

“It has started all over again, staring at the phone constantly for news,” said Jacquita Gonzales, wife of Patrick Gomes, the flight’s cabin crew supervisor.

Local government officials on La Reunion said France’s civil aviation investigating authority BEA has been asked to coordinate an international probe into the origin of the debris.

Further adding to the mystery, a torn fragment of luggage was discovered in the same place as the plane wreckage. Australian search chiefs have played down any link between the fragment and the doomed flight, however.

While there have been several accidents in the region, such as a South African Airways Boeing 747 that crashed near the island of Mauritius in 1987, killing all 159 people on board, none has involved a Boeing 777.

Experts said an identification number on the debris meant it could be rapidly identified as from a Boeing 777.

Angry next of kin have accused Malaysia’s government of incompetence, secrecy, and insensitivity toward relatives, and many have questioned the focus on the Indian Ocean, saying other possibilities were being ignored.

Speculation on the cause of the plane’s disappearance has focused primarily on a possible mechanical or structural failure, a hijacking or terror plot, or rogue pilot action.

© AFP, 2015

Read: MH370 search: Debris found on remote island is from a Boeing 777

Read: No one is giving up in the search for MH370

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