An unnamed US official told the Associated Press that aircraft wreckage found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean this week likely came from a Boeing 777 — the same type of aircraft as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
According to the AP’s Joan Lowy and Lori Hinnant, the official said 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.
Investigators from Boeing conducted a photo assessment of the wreckage and believe the part found on the island is one of the “flaperons” from the 777 which help the aircraft steer and control the amount of lift generated by its wings, CNN reported.
MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. The Boeing 777-200ER vanished with 239 passengers and crew onboard.
The search for the Malaysia 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 due to fire, crashes, or disappearance.
The first incident took place in 2008 when a British Airways 777 suffered engine failure on landing and crash 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 that was shot down over Ukraine last July.
MH370 is believed to the only Boeing 777 that has disappeared or has crashed in or around the Indian Ocean.
Former National Transportation Safety Board aviation safety official Tom Haueter told ABC News that the wreckage is unlikely to lead investigators to the rest of the aircraft since it has been floating around the ocean for more than a year.
However, Haueter did tell ABC that if the part is from a 777, then it’s most likely from MH370.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
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