Debris from the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370 may have been found on a beach in Mozambique, nearly two years after the Boeing 777 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur.
The piece of metal, measuring 90cm by 57cm, was found in an area consistent with drift modelling commissioned by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and reaffirms the search area for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, federal transport minister Darren Chester said.
“The debris is to be transferred to Australia where it will be examined by officials from Australia and Malaysia, as well as international specialists,” the minister said.
MH370 disappeared without trace on 8 March, 2014, with 239 people aboard.
Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Twitter that there was a “high possibility” the debris, reportedly discovered by an American tourist, belongs to a B777, but it had yet to be examined properly and verified.
“I urged everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time,” he said.
The find comes as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the underwater search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, said this week than more than 85,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far, leaving 35,000km sq left of the 120,000km sq search area.
The ATSB says they expect to complete the search by the middle of 2016.
If nothing is found, under a deadl struck between the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments last year, there will be no further expansion of the search area, bringing the hunt for the aircraft to a conclusion.
In September last year, France confirmed that wreckage found in July washed up on a French-held island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean was from MH370.
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