Malaysia investigators find plane window on Reunion: Minister

Police officers inspect metallic debris found on a beach in Saint-Denis on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on Aug 2, 2015.
Police officers inspect metallic debris found on a beach in Saint-Denis on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on Aug 2, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Malaysian investigation team on Reunion Island has found other debris from an airplane including plane window and aluminium foil.

But he cautioned the debris may not be from the missing MH370 and still requires verification from the authorities.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced early Thursday the joint France-Malaysia investigations had confirmed the aircraft flaperon found on the island as originating from the aircraft.

"Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370.

"We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he said at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Mr Liow on Thursday said the maintenance seal found in the flaperon matches with MH370 maintenance record.

"With the technical and maintenance report we have can actually match with this flaperon and one of the seal matches with our maintenance record. At the same time, the colour paint also match with our record," he told a press conference.

"The drifting pattern announced by Australian experts that the debris could cover that range and go right to the Reunion Island. Boeing also announced that so far there is no record of any airlines reported they have lost their flaperon."

He added the debris would make it easier for the investigation team to find the wreckage.

"Now with the physical proof that we found it bring us closer to finding the truth. It brings us closer to finding a closure to this mystery. "

The wing part had been officially identified last week as part of a Boeing 777 by French authorities together with Boeing, the US National Transportation Safety Board and a Malaysian investigation team.

On March 8, Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and carrying 239 passengers and crew went missing.

asruls@sph.com.sg