A piece of debris from a plane was found in the Indian Ocean near Reunion, an island about 500 miles east of Madagascar. Malasian authorities suppose that the found object appears to be a wing component â€” or flaperon â€” from a Boeing 777.
The piece was sent to offices of France’s BEA crash investigation agency in Toulouse to determine whether it can be a part of a passenger plane that went lost, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
“The location is consistent with the drift analysis provided to the Malaysian investigation team, which showed a route from the southern Indian Ocean to Africa,” Najib said in a statement.
— Xavier Tytelman (@PeurAvion) July 29, 2015
Malaysia Airlines’s Boeing vanished a year ago soon after it took offÂ om Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The mystery is said to be one of the most baffling ones in aviation history.
The missed jetÂ was carrying 239 passengers and crew.
Despite the fact that there have been four serious accidents involving Boeing 777s, only MH370 is thought to have crashed south of the equator.
“Similar parts on different planes would have a number and you’d have a serial number,” authorities explain. “If we can locate a serial number we might be able to match it to a specific air frame.”
Australian aviation expert Peter Marosszeky also said thatÂ most major components of modern airplanes can be easily traced by an identification code. “Essentially most of these major components do have identifiers on them, it is a requirement by the regulators,” he said.
He went on, adding that he would be surprised if it is a Boeing jet, due to the white paint on the debris that can be seen in pictures as Malaysia Airlines planes have grey paint. Either way, Marosszeky said, “looking at the state of the components, it has had a violent departure from an aircraft at some stage.”
“No hypothesis can be ruled out, including that it would come from a Boeing 777,” the Reunion prefecture and the French Justice Ministry said in a joint statement.
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) July 29, 2015
Aviation experts who have seen photos of the found debrisÂ said it may be a moving wing surface known as a flaperon, situated close to the fuselage.
“It is almost certain that the flaperon is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. Our chief investigator here told me this,” Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told reporters.
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the object had a number stamped on it that might speed its verification.
“This kind of work is obviously going to take some time although the number may help to identify the aircraft parts, assuming that’s what they are, much more quickly than might otherwise be the case,” he said.
Boeing released a statement, but directed questions about the investigation to the ATSB.
“Boeing remains committed to supporting the MH370 investigation and the search for the airplane,” the company said. “We continue to share our technical expertise and analysis. Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened â€“ and why.”