Malaysian prime minister: Debris found on island part of missing MH370

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Debris from MH370 found on Reunion Island.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A piece of debris found on an Indian Ocean island is part of missing Malaysian Flight 370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Wednesday.

Expert analysis of the Boeing 777 wing component, which was found last week on the French island of Reunion, began Wednesday at a specialized laboratory in southwestern France. By 7 a.m. MDT, investigators had arrived in Balma, France, near the city of Toulouse and were meeting before their work was set to begin.

It’s the firstpiece of physical evidence recovered from the Malaysian jetliner since it disappeared nearly 17 months ago with 239 people on board.

Complex multinational effort to solve mystery

The international cast of officials involved in the investigation reflects the complexity of the globe-spanning efforts to try solve modern aviation’s biggest mystery: What happened aboard Flight 370 to make it veer sharply off course and disappear from radar? And where did it end up?

Malaysia, the country where MH370 began its journey and whose flag it was carrying, is in charge of the overall investigations.

Australia is overseeing the underwater search for the wreckage because the plane is believed to have gone down far off its western coast, in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.

France, four of whose citizens were aboard the flight, has been drawn deeper into the matter by the discovery of the flaperon on a remote part of its territory. French authorities had already opened their own criminal investigation last year into possible manslaughter and hijacking in the loss of MH370.

China, which had the largest number of citizens on the plane, has been involved in decisions about the search for the plane. Flight 370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

U.S. and British government agencies — as well as experts from Boeing and the satellite company Inmarsat — have also been contributed to the investigations.

 

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