Malaysian authorities appeal for help to find further wreckage after debris discovered last week confirmed as part of Boeing 777
Malyasian authorities have appealed to territories near Réunion, where debris believed to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was found, to assist in the search for more pieces of wreckage.
The country’s transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said on Sunday that a flaperon found on the island on Wednesday, which is being analysed in Toulouse, France, has been confirmed as part of a Boeing 777.
That will increase confidence that the two-metre-long movable part from the trailing edge of the wing is from MH370, as there have been no other 777s gone missing at sea.
Liow said he was appealing to authorities in territories near Réunion “to conduct more substantive analysis should there be more debris coming on to land, providing us more clues to the missing aircraft”.
He added: “I urge all parties to allow this crucial investigation process to take its course. 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.”
An air safety investigator from Boeing is among those who have identified the component as from a 777, a US official said.
Investigators are expected to begin their inquiry into whether it came from flight MH370 on Wednesday.
A new piece of debris found on Sunday turned out to be a domestic ladder and did not belong to a plane, Malaysian director general of civil aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told the Associated Press amid media reports that a new plane part had been found.
Reports said that a 70cm metal sheet featuring Chinese symbols was discovered by a passerby in Saint Denis, 15 miles (25km) from Saint-André, where the first piece of debris was found.
Authorities immediately cordoned off the perimeter and the object was taken away for further analysis.
Separately, an AFP photographer saw police collect a piece of debris, measuring about 100 sq cm, on the north of the island.
Police placed the debris, which has a type of handle partially covered by leather and has symbols written on it, in an iron case. A source close to the investigation in Paris said “no object or debris likely to come from a plane” had been placed into evidence on Sunday.
Malaysia’s deputy transport minister, Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, has said the flaperon could be “the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean”. However, others have urged caution, warning that even if the piece did belong to the plane, which disappeared in March last year, it would not reveal where the plane crashed or where other debris might be.
Before the flaperon was discovered by beach cleaners, the search for the missing passenger plane had gone cold, despite a massive operation involving planes and ships from more than 20 countries scouring the Indian Ocean.
A church service was held at Cambuston church in Saint-André on Saturday in memory of the 239 people on board the flight. More than 400 people attended the service at the church, which is located close to the beach where the first piece of debris was discovered.
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Source: the guardian