Malaysia PM Confirms Part Belongs to Missing MH370

Part Belongs to Missing MH370
Photo Courtesy: UPI

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Aug. 5 (UPI) — An piece of debris found off the coast of the French island of Réunion belongs to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Thursday.

Razak said the part, called a flaperon, belonged to the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8, 2014, during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. All passengers and crew were presumed dead.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Réunion island is indeed from MH370,” Razak said at a news conference.

“We now have physical evidence that … Flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Malaysian, Australian and French officials examined the aircraft part after it was shipped from Réunion to a laboratory in Toulouse, France, over the weekend.

MH370 is believed to have crashed somewhere over the southern Indian Ocean, but the first discovery of the plane’s debris occurred nearly 4,000 miles away on Réunion, which is located near Madagascar.

“This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area,” Razak said. “The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time have been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people on board MH370.

“They have our deepest sympathy and prayers.”

Other investigators were searching Reunion, as well as other islands, including the Seychelles and Mauritius, for more parts of the plane, but thus far only the wing section and the remnants of a suitcase are the only possible evidence found.

Earlier this year Australian authorities expanded the search zone for the missing plane, from 60,000 square kilometers (23,166 square miles) to 120,000 square kilometers (43,332 square miles), and are continuing to search that section of the ocean.


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