Suspected MH370 debris found on Mauritius island

Wreckage found by guests of Mourouk Ebony Hotel on Rodrigues Island, about 560km east of the main island of Mauritius. The hotel owner said the debris looked like it was from a plane.
Wreckage found by guests of Mourouk Ebony Hotel on Rodrigues Island, about 560km east of the main island of Mauritius. The hotel owner said the debris looked like it was from a plane.PHOTO: MOUROUK EBONY HOTEL FACEBOOK PAGE

SYDNEY • Australia said that a piece of suspected plane debris found on a Mauritian island will be examined to see if it is part of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing two years ago in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

A hotel owner on the island who saw the debris said it looked like it was from the inside of a plane, with what he thought was a wallpaper "design", which, if confirmed, would be the first piece of interior debris from the plane yet to be found.

Australia has led the search for the plane, which went missing in March 2014 with 239 people on board the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the debris, found last week, was an "item of interest".

"The Malaysian government is working with officials from Mauritius to seek to take custody of the debris and arrange for its examination," he said in a statement.

Mr Chester did not say from what part of the missing Boeing 777 the debris was suspected to have come. Until the debris has been examined by experts, "it is not possible to ascertain its origin", he said.

Mr William Auguste, who owns Mourouk Ebony Hotel on Rodrigues Island, about 560km east of the main island of Mauritius, said the wreckage was found by guests.

"For sure it looked like part of an aeroplane - it looks like it's from the inside part of it," he said, adding that the wreckage had been taken to the police.

Last month, Australia said debris found in Mozambique was "almost certainly from MH370".

Last year, the French authorities said a wing part found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion was part of the plane.

Australia said more than 95,000 sq km of a 120,000 sq km target zone had been searched and that the entire zone would be covered by June, when the search is scheduled to end.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'Suspected MH370 debris found on Mauritius island'. Print Edition | Subscribe