CANBERRA • Aircraft debris found in Mozambique had originated from the lost Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) stated in a Technical Examination Report released on Tuesday.
The report confirmed initial assessments by various parties that the aircraft parts could have come from the ill-fated MH370 jetliner which veered off-course from its original flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing before disappearing.
On Dec 27, 2015 and Feb 27, 2016, two items of aircraft debris were independently found, approximately 220km apart, on the Mozambique coast. One of them was a Boeing 777 flap track fairing from the right wing of the aircraft, and the other was a horizontal stabiliser panel segment.
Both items were delivered to the relevant civil aviation authorities in Mozambique and South Africa early last month.
Assistance from the ATSB was requested by the Malaysian government in the formal identification of the items to determine if they came from MH370.
Australia's Transport Minister Darren Chester said stencilling of key words and numbers fully matched the font used by Malaysia Airlines, and was not the same one used by the Boeing factory when delivering aircraft.
He said this "link" proved that both pieces were from the Boeing 777 which went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. MH370 was a scheduled passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.
"I welcome the Technical Examination Report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau confirming the debris almost certainly originated from MH370," Mr Chester said in a statement released yesterday.
"Stencilling on both parts of debris provided investigators with evidence of the link. The font and colour of a number stencilled on the first part conforms to that developed and used by Malaysia Airlines. The second part contained the words 'No Step' with stencilling consistent with that used by Malaysia Airlines and a fastener attached to the part provided evidence linking the part to the aircraft's production line."
ATSB said both aircraft pieces were also examined for marine eco- logy identification and remnants of biological material which could provide clues to their sea journey.
Mr Chester said the search for the jetliner would continue in the final 20,000 sq km of the southern Indian Ocean where investigators believe the aircraft had entered the water. The search operation is scheduled to end in early July.
Meanwhile, dozens of families of those killed when a missile shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine two years ago are considering suing the carrier for compensation.
All 298 passengers and crew members - the majority of them Dutch - died when the Boeing 777 was hit by a Russian-made BUK anti-aircraft missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
XINHUA, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE