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Search for Malaysia MH370: ‘Debris from Boeing 777’ found

, / 07:48 AM July 30, 2015

MH370

WASHINGTON, United States — A U.S. official says air safety investigators have a “high degree of confidence” that a photo of aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane that disappeared last year.

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The official says investigators — including a Boeing air safety investigator — have identified the component as a “flaperon” from the trailing edge of a 777 wing.

A French official close to the investigation confirmed Wednesday that French law enforcement is on site to examine a piece of airplane wing found on the French island of Reunion, in the western Indian Ocean.

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The island is thousands of miles from the area where MH370 was believed to have crashed.

The U.S. and French officials spoke on condition that they not be named because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Malaysia has sent a team to verify whether plane debris washed up on an Indian Ocean island could be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, its transport minister said Wednesday.

The washing up of the mysterious plane debris on the French island of Reunion prompted swift speculation that it could be part of the missing aircraft.

“Whatever wreckage found needs to be further verified before we can further confirm whether it belongs to MH370,” Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters in New York.

“So we have dispatched a team to investigate on this issues and we hope that we can identify it as soon as possible,” he added after a UN Security Council debate on a separate Malaysian jet shot down over Ukraine.

The two-meter (six-foot) long piece of wreckage, which seemed to be part of a wing, was found by people cleaning up a beach.

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French air transport officials have opened a probe into where the wreckage came from. MH370 vanished without trace in March 2014.

No part of the jet has ever been found. Malaysian authorities in January declared that all on board were presumed dead.

The plane vanished at night over the South China Sea after changing course on its north-bound route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

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TAGS: B777, Boeing 777, flaperon, MH370, Reunion island
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