Paris/Kuala Lumpur, Aug 7: The Malaysian transport ministry has said that more debris washed up on the French island of Reunion is believed to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The new items found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean include pieces of windows, seat cushions and aluminum foil, Malaysian officials said. (Read: France to step up air, sea search for MH370 wreckage)
However, they added that it is unclear whether the objects, which still need to be verified by French authorities, are from the Beijing bound MH370 which mysteriously vanished on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, CNN reported. “The team told us they have managed to collect more debris on the island and we have handed it over to the authorities in France,” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said, adding “a plane window and some aluminum foil, there are many items.”
On Thursday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the wing part or flaperon found on Reunion island on July 29, is certainly from MH370, other officials have expressed more caution and have said that more testing is needed. Meanwhile, the French government in a statement said that a military aircraft would begin surveying the area around Reunion on Friday, along with helicopter and boat patrols and search teams on foot, BBC reported.
The statement said France would play its full part in international efforts to “shed light on this tragedy”. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has been co-ordinating the deep-sea hunt in the southern Indian Ocean, where the plane is believed to have gone down, thousands of miles east of Reunion.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that search would continue as “we owe it to the hundreds of millions of people who use our skies.” Families of those onboard MH370 are still swamped with unanswered questions regarding the whereabouts of their loved ones, The Malaysian Star reported.
Calvin Shim, husband of stewardess Tan Ser Kuin, said the discovery pushed investigations one step closer to the truth. “The flaperon alone cannot convince me. Maybe if they find more debris in the coming weeks, it will be more believable,” he said. Elaine Chew, wife of steward Tan Size Hiang, said that it was difficult to find any kind of closure as what happened to the plane remained a mystery.
Grace Subathirai Nathan, the daughter of passenger Ann Daisy, said it was puzzling that the announcement about the flaperon could be made so soon when the investigations were only supposed to have just started. “How could they have found out so soon?” she asked, adding that it would make sense for the authorities in France to take longer to investigate the matter.