CANBERRA, Australia, March 30 (UPI) — Australian officials on Wednesday confirmed debris recovered from Mozambique in February matched that of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, further corroborating it could have come from Flight 370.
Two pieces of debris recently found in Mozambique were examined at the Geoscience Australia and Australian Transport Safety Bureau facilities in Canberra by international experts from a Malaysian MH370 safety investigation team, the ATSB, Boeing and the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation.
“The dimensions, materials and construction of both parts conform to the specifications of a Boeing 777 aircraft; the paint and stencilling on both parts match those used by Malaysia Airlines; and as such, both parts are consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, and are almost certainly from MH370,” the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team said in a statement.
Underwater search operations for the missing airliner continue. Nearly 37,000 square miles of seafloor have been searched so far. The search for MH370 will likely end in July.
“In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation,” the ATSB said in a statement.
MH370 disappeared March 8, 2014, after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia en route to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The pilots last communicated with air traffic control 38 minutes after takeoff. Three minutes later, the plane’s transponders were turned off and the plane disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens.
Malaysian authorities concluded the flight had ended in the Indian Ocean, but no confirmed MH370 debris was found until last year when a right wing flaperon was discovered on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar.