Debris of a plane washed up on the Reunion Island off Africa's east coast on Wednesday, triggering strong speculations if it belongs to the Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight that went missing in March last year.
Air safety investigators reportedly expressed a "high degree of confidence" stating that the debris was from a Boeing 777, the same model as that of MH370, Reuters reported.
Boeing air safety investigators also identified the object as a 'flaperon', which is part of a plane wing. However, French investigators from the BEA said it was too early to confirm the object was from MH370.
Chennai-based KS Narendran, whose wife Chandrika Sharma was on board MH370, told IBTimes India that the finding was an important development but he will wait for a confirmation to react.
"I will wait and watch for an official confirmation on the finding. It is, however, an important development. Until there is any certainty that it is indeed a part of MH370, one will hold emotions at bay," he said.
UPDATES SO FAR:
- The plane debris will be taken to Toulouse in France for examination by civil aviation investigators."Initial reports suggest that the debris is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, but we need to verify whether it is from flight MH370. At this stage it is too early to speculate.To find out as fast as possible, the debris will be shipped by French authorities to Toulouse, site of the nearest office of the BEA, the French authority responsible for civil aviation accident investigations.
A Malaysian team is on the way to Toulouse now. It includes senior representatives from the Ministry of Transport, the Department of Civil Aviation, the MH370 investigation team, and Malaysia Airlines," Malysian PM Najib Razak said in a statement.
- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that the plane debris is 'very likely' from Boeing 777, AFP reported.
- Aviation website Airlive.net tweeted that the code found on the plane debris in Reunion Island reportedly matches that of a Boeing 777 flaperon.
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) July 30, 2015
- Local newspapers on the Reunion Island have published photos of a suitcase that was reportedly found near the site of where the debris was recovered from on Wednesday, leading to speculations if it is connected with the plane. The suitcase is being investigated.
— Antoine Forestier (@a_forestier) July 30, 2015
- A number stamped on the debris could be a major key to identifying the plane. According to Australian officials the number 'BB670' is not a serial number but 'sort of a maintenance number'. Local reports said the stamped code was '657-BB'.
- Malaysia has said that it is "almost certain" that the plane debris found on Reunion Island is from a Boeing 777, Reuters reported.
- Australia has said that it is treating the finding of the debris as a 'major lead' in the search for MH370.
- Australian deputy prime minister Warren Truss has reportedly said that it is a "realistic possibility" that debris from MH370, which is believed to have crashed in the Indian COean, could have drifted to Reunion Island.
MH370 went missing last year with 239 people onboard, while it was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.