Wing Confirmed To Be From Flight 370, Authorities Investigate New Debris

Photo: Ahmad Yusni/NurPhoto/Rex/REX USA
Updated on August 6 at 11:55 a.m.: French authorities are investigating more debris that washed up on the island of Réunion, where the wing said to have been part of Flight MH370 was found, Malaysia's transport ministry said Thursday.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), an Australian commission which coordinates the search for MH370, said it cannot confirm that the new debris — pieces of windows, seat cushions, and aluminum material — is from an airplane.

Updated on August 5 at 2:20 p.m.:
The prime minister of Malaysia has confirmed that the debris found on the French island of Reunion belonged to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8, 2014.

"The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370," Prime Minister Najib Razak said at a press conference.

Sources at the conference said that Najib announced that he is "committed to do everything" to further the investigation into what went wrong during MH370's tragic flight.

Updated on August 3 at 9 a.m.:
Malaysian authorities have confirmed that wreckage recovered from the shoreline of Réunion Island comes from the same type of aircraft as Flight 370, which has been missing since March 8, 2014. According to CNN, more research is necessary in order to match the debris to MH370.

Updated on July 30 at 10:55 a.m:
Malaysia's prime minister announced that the debris recovered from an island in the Indian Ocean and thought to have been part of missing flight MH370 will be sent to France for analysis.

This story was originally published on July 29, 2015.

An object resembling the flap of an airplane wing has shown up along the shore of Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The French aviation safety bureau (BEA) has issued a statement saying that it is not yet possible to determine whether this debris is the flap from MH370 or a B-777 — meaning more research will be needed to connect or rule out a link with missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

A BEA official told The New York Times that it could take several weeks to determine where the three-by-nine-foot object came from, though it's already clear that it's been in the water for a considerable length of time. Flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014; since then, there have been no definitive indications of its whereabouts.

A French-language outlet reported that the debris was discovered by beach cleaners, and aviation experts have asserted that it might be a part of a plane wing known as a "flaperon," which pilots use to control the flight path. In order to identify whether or not this object came from Flight 370 — or from a Boeing 777 at all — examiners will need to tie it to a serial number.

Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, and is thought to have crashed in the ocean. Though initially dozens of countries embarked on the search for the missing plane, eventually only Australia, along with Malaysia and China, continued the search. In the coming weeks, with any luck, the families of the victims will finally have some answers about what really happened the day the plane went down.

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