A piece of airplane debris found off Madagascar likely came from a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing more than a year ago.
French investigators are investigating the evidence after aviation experts said the large piece of metal is consistent with the design of the ill-fated Boeing 777 plane.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing engineers and designers are examining photos of what is believed to be as a flaperon, a control function on the wing of the aircraft, found on Reunion island.
“This concave shape is indeed common to the 777 flap design,” one long-time Boeing engineer was quoted as saying.
Officials involved in the investigation cautioned it was too soon to say whether the piece was linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean after veering sharply off its intended flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
French accident investigation agency BEA said it is studying the information in coordination with Malaysian and Australian authorities.
“It is not possible at this time to ascertain whether the part is from a [Boeing 777] or from MH370.”
Boeing Co. declined to comment on the finding but said “we continue to share our technical expertise and analysis” in the Flight 370 investigation.
Search teams have failed to find any trace of the aircraft in a 23,200-square-mile zone where the plane carrying 239 people is believed to have gone down.
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