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Malaysian Airlines MH370: 'Boeing 777' wing found on Reunion island could be from missing plane

Published 29/07/2015

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

Wreckage which could be from missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane has washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

Debris that washed up on the island could be the remnants of a destroyed Boeing 777, the same model of plane that went missing in March last year.

Police 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 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

Writing on a blog, French aviation security expert and former pilot Xavier Tytelman, said the images showed an "incredible" similarity between the appearance of the wreckage and the wing of a Boeing 777.

Comparing Boeing plane schematics and the images from the scene, Tytelman said there is a small possibility that the wreckage found could be the remnants of MH370.

He said that a number is visible on the wreckage, and comparing it with the records of the lost plane will be able to give a definitive answer as to whether the debris truly does come from MH370.

The Boeing 777 has only been involved in five 'hull loss' incidents in its history. This term is used when the aircraft is damaged beyond repair, or when it has gone missing.

One of these accidents was the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, after it was hit by a missile while over Ukraine in July last year. The rest of the accidents (excluding MH370) all took place over land, at airports in London, Cairo and San Francisco.

Therefore if this piece of wreckage is indeed from a Boeing 777, then it is likely that it will be from MH370.

He added that the piece of debris, which resembles part of a wing, seems relatively intact, and reported that police on the scene believed it could have been underwater for about a year.

There is by no means any solid proof that this wreckage is that of MH370, and a definitive verdict of the origin of the debris should be found soon.


Certainly, La Reunion is far away from the suspected crash site of MH370, which is in the ocean to the west of Australia.

The island is still in the Indian ocean, but is around 2,800 miles from where investigators have been searching for the damaged craft.

However, according to Tytelman, it is not unfeasible that this piece of debris could have been moved by the current across the ocean over the course of the year.

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
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

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, with 239 people on board.

It vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off, forcing the international team currently searching for the wreckage to use broad estimates of its location in their search.

The search zones currently cover hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean. No radar 'pings' from the wreckage that would give away its location have been detected, and Malaysia has officially declared the crash an accident, and has assumed all those on board are now dead.

Independent

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
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

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