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Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: wing fragment on Reunion island is from missing plane

Published 05/08/2015

French police officers carry a piece of debris from a plane found in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island (AP)
French police officers carry a piece of debris from a plane found in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island (AP)

The wing fragment washed up on Reunion island is from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak has confirmed.

"We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Mr Najib said in Kuala Lumpur.

Police and gendarmes carry a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Police and gendarmes carry a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Policemen and gendarmes stand next to a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
A policeman and a gendarme stand next to a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. AFP/Getty Images

"The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370. They have our deepest sympathy and prayers," he said.

In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said the flaperon, part of the plane's wing, found on Reunion Island on July 29 was confirmed to be of Flight 370 by the French agency that investigates air crashes, known as the BEA, the Malaysian investigation team, a technical representative from PRC and the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau in Toulouse, France.

"Family members of passengers and crew have already been informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected," it said.

The statement said this "is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery."

MH370 vanished more than a year ago with 239 people aboard.

It vanished after after veering far off its set northerly course from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing.

Malaysian military radar last confirmed the Boeing 777 over the Strait of Malacca.

Highly technical efforts to extrapolate the jet's final hours before it would have run out of fuel gave force to the theory that it went down somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

Air tragedies: mystery surrounds the disappearance of Flight MH370
Air tragedies: mystery surrounds the disappearance of Flight MH370
Questions remain unanswered about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 one year ago (AP)
HMS Echo and a Lockheed P-3 Orion were involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared with 239 people on board
Chinese relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane cry during a protest at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing (AP)
Kelly Wen, wife of Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 prays during an event to mark one year anniversary of the plane's disappearance (AP)
An observer on a Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream aircraft takes photos out of a window during an earlier search for the missing plane (AP)
The crew of survey ship HMS Echo in the southern Indian Ocean help in the underwater search for the flight recorder from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (MoD/PA)

No-one is certain why the plane deviated so far from its planned route.

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