The Australian government announced on Friday that it is “highly likely” that a piece of an aeroplane wing found in Tanzania and taken to Australia to be examined by experts is part of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370.
Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said that one piece is confirmed to have come from MH370 while four other items are almost certainly from the missing aircraft.
In a statement, Chester added that “Experts will continue to analyse this piece to assess what information can be determined from it.” He added that the pieces of debris were “located in areas consistent with drift modelling performed by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and affirms the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean.”
The plane that was carrying 239 passengers and crew disappeared on its journey in March 2014 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, and it was bound for Beijing. Investigators believe that someone may have deliberately turned off the plane’s transponder before it was directed thousands of miles off course over the Indian Ocean.
The part of the wing that was found in Tanzania is being examined in Australia. The Australian minister added that experts will continue to analyse this part to see what information can be derived from it.
Last week, Malaysia, China and Australia said in a joint statement that the search for the plane would be suspended if the main part of the wreckage in the area that they are currently searching in was not found.
In a related development, relatives of victims who were on board the Malaysia Airlines plane protested after the Chinese authorities announced that the search to locate the plane will be suspended.
Senior officials from Malaysia, China and Australia announced last week that they will suspend their search as soon as the search of the remaining part of the southern Indian Ocean is completed. This has aroused the anger of the victims’ relatives.