More debris found in hunt for MH370 answers

2015-08-02 14:46
Police officers looking at a piece of debris from a plane in Saint-Andre, Reunion. (AP)

Police officers looking at a piece of debris from a plane in Saint-Andre, Reunion. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Saint-Andr - Investigators probing missing flight MH370 collected more metallic debris on an Indian Ocean island on Sunday as Malaysia 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 fevered speculation that it may be the first tangible evidence that the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.

An AFP photographer early on Sunday 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 , was placed into an iron case.

Also on Sunday morning a man handed police a piece of debris measuring 70 centimetres, guessing it was part of a plane door.

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 on Wednesday 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 spokesperson for Australia's Transport and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said that more "objects are being brought to local stations but nothing 'obvious' so far. And no door."

Wing part analysed in France

While the wing part - known as a flaperon - has been sent to France for further analysis, locals on La Reunion are scouring the beach for more debris in what a French source close to the investigation likened to a "treasure hunt".

The discovery comes after a gruelling 16-month search that has yielded no evidence of what happened to the plane that disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The flight's mysterious disappearance, which saw it vanish off radars as a key transponder appeared to have been shut off, has baffled aviation experts and grieving families and given rise to a myriad conspiracy theories.

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.

Scientists say it is plausible that ocean currents carried a piece of the wreckage as far as La Reunion.

Malaysia's deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP that the Boeing 777 wing part "could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean."

"I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370," he said.

The flaperon will be examined in a lab near the French city of Toulouse that specialises in plane crash investigations.

Four Malaysian officials including the head of civil aviation are in Paris together with officials from Malaysia Airlines for a meeting on Monday with three French magistrates and an official from France's civil aviation investigating authority BEA.

Debris won't solve mystery

Truss has warned that even if the debris confirmed to come from MH370 it is unlikely to completely clear up one of aviation's greatest puzzles.

The mystery of what happened to the plane and where it went down exactly are still likely to persist unless the black box is found.

Australian search authorities leading the hunt for the aircraft some 4 000 km from La Reunion are confident the main debris field is in the current search area.

For the families of the victims, torn between wanting closure and hoping that their loved ones are somehow still alive, the discovery of the part has been yet another painful twist on an emotional rollercoaster.

While it is unclear whether it was a piece of plane door that was found, Nur Laila Ngah, the wife of the flight's chief steward Wan Swaid Wan Ismail, said she hoped it was.

"It is good news. But it still hurts. But it has been hurting for so long. We need the closure and all the evidence possible so that we can go ahead with our lives. It's been so long," she said.

Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  malaysia  |  mh370

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.