News World Confirmed: wing part is from Boeing 777

Confirmed: wing part is from Boeing 777

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Malaysian authorities have confirmed that the plane wreckage washed up on an Indian Ocean island is from a Boeing 777, meaning the part is almost certainly from missing flight MH370.

The debris, part of a plane wing called a flaperon, could provide the first tangible clue to unlocking the mystery surrounding the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared without trace on March 8 last year with 239 people on board, including six Australians.

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“I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean,” Malaysia’s Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said.

The Malaysia Airlines flight was one of only three Boeing 777s to have been involved in major incidents, along with the downing of the MH17 over Ukraine last year and the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco airport in 2013 that left three dead.

The wing component found on the French island of Reunion bears the part number “657 BB”, according to photos of the debris.

“From the part number, it is confirmed that it is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. This information is from MAS (Malaysia Airlines). They have informed me,” the minister said.

The two-metre segment will be shipped late on Friday from Reunion, east of Madagascar, to arrive in the French city of Toulouse on Saturday, said the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.

Experts from France’s crash investigators BEA will examine the part at an aeronautical centre of the Defence Ministry, to determine whether it was part of MH370.

The first results are expected next week, the spokeswoman said.

Flight MH370 was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it mysteriously turned off course and vanished on March 8 last year.

An Australian-led search has spent 16 months combing the southern Indian Ocean for the aircraft, but no confirmed physical evidence has ever been found, sparking wild conspiracy theories about the plane’s fate.

The fruitless search in January led Malaysian authorities to declare all on board were presumed dead.

For relatives of those aboard, torn between wanting closure and hoping beyond hope that their loved ones were still somehow alive, the discovery was yet another painful turn on an emotional rollercoaster.

Australian Jeanette Maguire, whose sister Cathy was on board, said the discovery of the wreckage was “a very bittersweet feeling for all of the family, it’s quite emotional”.

“We’re really hoping for answers that we get from this wreckage that it is MH370 so that we have some idea and another part of our puzzle as to where our family and everyone else on board has gone, and have ended up, unfortunately,” she added.

The discovery of the piece of plane debris by a cleaning team on Wednesday sparked fevered speculation which was heightened with the discovery on the same rocky beach of a piece of torn luggage, a detergent bottle with Indonesian markings and a Chinese bottle of mineral water.

The wreckage is being sent to France for further analysis and is expected to arrive on Saturday.


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