Soon after France confirmed that the debris sent for examination belonged to Boeing 777 wreckage, Malaysia is confident that it belonged to the missing MH370 and haqs begun search operations around the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
Located 140 miles from Mauritius, Reunion has already become busy with search operations taken up by Maritius and boats are pressed into service. Reunion is in the vicinity of isalnds such as Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Maldives.
“I urge all parties to allow this crucial investigation process to take its course,” said Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia’s transport minister. “I reiterate this is for the sake of the next of kin of the loved ones of MH370 who would be anxiously awaiting news and have suffered much over this time.We will make an announcement once the verification process has been completed.”
Metallic debris that floated ashore the Reunion island last week was a wing fragment called “flaperon” belonging to a Boeing 777 and MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to have crashed in the are, going by past analysis and estimates by aviation experts.
The Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent so far to find the debris or any clue to its wreckage.
“We know the flaperon has been officially identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft,” said Mr Liow. “This has been verified by French authorities together with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, US National Transportation Safety Board and the Malaysian team.”
The debris was sent to military-run laboratory in Balma, near Toulouse, after it was found on a beach in Saint Denis. The search operations have seen heightened movement of boats in the waters around and a small piece of twisted metal with Chinese characters denoting it as plane door latch was handed over to police on Sunday morning in the Chaudron district on the outskirts of Saint Denis, but it turned out to be a ladder, not a plane wreckage.
The island of Reunion was known to have litter around including warped metal, foam chair stuffings, food packages, car tyres and clothes and there is likely to be more articles which would be handed over to the police by the boats.
Since debris moves in groups, excavators and search boats believe other objects could be found in the same region near Reunion.