Date
12 December 2017
A container of liquid soap, made in Jakarta, was among freshly discovered debris that washed onto the beach on Reunion Island Friday. Photo: Reuters
A container of liquid soap, made in Jakarta, was among freshly discovered debris that washed onto the beach on Reunion Island Friday. Photo: Reuters

Indian Ocean plane debris part of a Boeing 777, Malaysia says

Malaysia said airplane debris that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been identified as being from a Boeing 777, the same model as a Malaysian Airlines plane that vanished last year, Reuters reported.

Experts hope the 2-2.5 meter wing surface, known as a flaperon, and a fragment of luggage also found on Reunion could yield clues on the fate of Flight MH370, which disappeared without trace in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

“We know the flaperon has been officially identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft,” Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement.

“This has been verified by French authorities together with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, US National Transportation Safety Board and the Malaysian team.”

The barnacled plane part was flown to Paris on Saturday and was taken to Toulouse to undergo more detailed analysis.

The debris will be analyzed at a lab staffed by 600 experts that is operated by the French defense ministry, the report said.

The luggage fragment has been sent to a police unit outside Paris that specializes in DNA tests.

If the serial number on the flaperon confirms that it is from Flight 370, then the laboratory can use sophisticated tools to try to glean more information about the causes of the crash, such as whether its shape corresponds more to a mid-air explosion or a crash into the ocean.

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CG/FL

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