The Malaysian government has said that the wreckage found on Reunion Island last week is from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.
“We now have physical evidence that flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.
However, in a subsequent announcement carried on CNN, a French official said that Boeing representatives and French authorities have not yet completed their analysis of the wreckage, which was flown to France.
According Serge Mackowiak, a French legal official, Boeing representatives examined the part and found that it is consistent with a flaperon from the wing of a Boeing 777 — the same type of aircraft operating as MH370 when it disappeared. Mackowiak also said that Malaysia Airlines representatives looked at the wreckage and concluded that there are indications that it came from MH370.
Mackowiak added that in the coming day these suppositions would be confirmed through further technical analysis of the wreckage.
MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China.
The Boeing 777-200ER — registration number 9M-MRO — vanished with 239 passengers and crew onboard.
Last week, the now identified wing fragment washed up on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean.
The search for the Malaysian jet has been focused on a 7.3-million-square-mile area in the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia.
Since 1995, more than 1,300 Boeing 777s have entered service with airlines and cargo carriers.
In 20 years, only five Boeing 777s have been written off because of fire, crashes, or disappearance.
The first incident took place in 2008 when a British Airways 777 suffered engine failure on landing and crashed on the runway at Heathrow Airport.
The second incident took place in 2011, when an EgyptAir 777 caught fire while parked at the airport in Cairo.
The third hull-loss occurred in 2013, when an Asiana 777 crashed while landing in San Francisco.
The fourth Boeing 777 lost was Malaysia Airlines MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014.
MH370 is the fifth 777 to be lost and the only example of the aircraft that has crashed in or around the Indian Ocean.
More to come.
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