Debris believed to be part of a Boeing 777 jet has been found off Mozambique and is being taken to Australia to be examined by investigators involved in the search for the missing flight MH370, Malaysia’s Transport Minister says.
Liow Tiong Lai said there was a “high possibility” that the piece of debris belonged to a 777 jet but added he could not conclude yet that it was from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
“The debris will be taken to Australia for further examination,” he said.
Earlier US television network NBC reported a piece of debris had been found along the eastern African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar.
NBC cited US, Malaysian and Australian investigators who had seen photos of the object, which the network said could be a horizontal stabiliser from a Boeing 777.
An official in Mozambique’s Foreign Ministry said the fragment was being flown to the capital Maputo from Inhambane province, 800 kilometres to the north, and would arrive on Wednesday evening.
It would be examined in Maputo by Malaysian and US experts, the official said.
On his Twitter feed, Mr Liow said Malaysia was working with Australia to retrieve the debris for closer study.
He stressed the origin of the item was “yet to be confirmed and verified”.
“I urge everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time,” the Transport Minister said.
The find comes just days before the March 8 two-year anniversary of the plane’s mysterious 2014 disappearance.
The aircraft diverted for unknown reasons while on a routine overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
Investigators believe the plane rerouted to the southern Indian Ocean, where it crashed.
No crash site has been found.
Last July a man on the French-held Indian Ocean island of Reunion found a wing fragment that experts later determined came from MH370, the only confirmed evidence of the plane’s fate to be found.