Malaysian minister: It's 'almost certain' the plane debris found on Reunion Island is from a Boeing 777

The shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft can be seen on low-level clouds as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean looking for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Rob Griffith/PoolThomson ReutersThe shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft can be seen on low-level clouds as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean looking for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

Malaysia’s deputy transport minister says it is “almost certain” that the wreckage found on the Reunion islands in the Indian Ocean this week is from a Boeing 777 aircraft — the same type of aircraft as missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

“It is almost certain that the flaperon is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. Our chief investigator here told me this,” deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said.

This matches what an unnamed official told the Associated Press on Wednesday after the debris was discovered on the island near Madagascar. The official told the AP that air safety investigators have a “high degree of confidence” that photos of the wreckage show a part from the aircraft’s wings that is unique to the Boeing 777.

Oceanographers have also said that it’s plausible that part of the debris from the missing plane could have made its way into the area where the wreckage was found. Australia’s deputy prime minister confirmed that the debris could have reached the island, saying “a piece of debris could have floated a very, very long way in 16 months.”

Xavier Tytelman, a former French military pilot who now specialises in aviation security, told The Telegraph that he also thinks the wreckage could possibly be from the plane.

“Police in Reunion examining the wreckage say that it looks like it’s been in the water for around a year, which again would fit with MH370,” he said. “We can’t say for certainty, but we do think there is a chance that this is it.”

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. It had 239 passengers and crew on board.

Crews have been searching the southern Indian Ocean for any sign of the missing plane and have so far been unable to conclusively identify any debris belonging to the aircraft.

Benjamin Zhang contributed to this report.

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