On Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, a fragment of an airplane wing that has washed ashore has prompted authorities to say a major lead has come in the case of the missing Malaysia Flight 370.
Does the Airplane Fragment Belong to Malaysia Flight 370?
Over 16 months after the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished, a single piece of debris that was found by a cleaning crew on Wednesday has brought many emotions to the relatives of the missing passengers and to the world at large. The part, which is now believe to be a flap from the wing, was found on Reunion Island near Madagascar.
Investigators from Boeing have reviewed photos of the plane part and believe it to be from a Boeing 777. Of all of their 777s in the world, only one is reported missing at the time: MH370.
As boats and helicopters spread the search out over the sea around Reunion Island, local media outlets have reported another mysterious finding that has come ashore as what is believed to be the remains of a sea-battered suitcase. However, officials have not released any official comment on the discovery.
The part, which is between 6 to 8 feet long, is reported to be intact with no visible physical damage that would indicate fire or a possible impact.
The Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, released a statement in a news conference on Thursday that a number stamped on the airplane part may help identify to what plane the part belonged.
Airplane Debris from Reunion Island May Be Evidence
Truss believes the part can be considered “real evidence” that opens up the “possibility” that the airplane may be found; however, officials have been closely guarding their statements due to the highly sensitive nature of the missing plane.
Over 239 people are still missing since the plane lost contact on March 8, 2014, as it traveled on a routine route from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing, China.
The fragment was shipped to Toulouse for a thorough investigation. The French authority that will investigate the accident, BEA, cannot yet confirm whether the fragment was in fact from the missing plane.
Malaysia Flight 370: Still Officially Missing, But Theories Abound
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, believes it is highly likely that the debris belongs to Malaysia Flight 370. In addition, Razak pointed out the location the airplane fragment washed ashore in was consistent to the drift analysis reports drafted in the initial searches for the aircraft.
In a statement from the press conference, Truss believes the possible positive identification of the aircraft may give some closure to the relatives of the passengers.
Many authorities leading the search also believe other debris may soon wash up in the same area in the coming days and weeks. Has Malaysia Flight 370 been found or is the plane and all of its passengers still somewhere deep in the sea? For now, the relatives, the world, and the answer must wait as investigators find out if MH370 may have resurfaced.