'Plane wreckage with Malaysian flag found in Philippines'

KOTA KINABALU • Sabah police have received a report claiming that aircraft wreckage with the Malaysian flag painted on it was found on a southern Philippine island.

The report was made by a man who said wreckage with human remains inside was spotted several days ago by his nephew, from the southern Philippine island of Tawi Tawi, at Ubian Island, also in the southern Philippines.

State Commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the man made the report at the Sandakan police station on Saturday. "This matter is being investigated," Datuk Jalaluddin told The Star in a text message.

Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will verify the report, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday.

"I have told the DCA to look into the report. We don't know if the report is true, so we need to verify it first. Let's not speculate and give space to the DCA to conduct its investigation," Mr Liow said, reported The Malay Mail Online.

The man who reported the wreckage, an audio-visual technician in his 40s, said his nephew and a few others were hunting for birds when they spotted the debris. The man said he informed the police as the wreckage could be from a plane that disappeared last year.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard, most of them Chinese nationals. The incident set off one of the largest searches for an aircraft focusing on the Southern Indian Ocean.

Last month, the French authorities confirmed that a piece of an aircraft wing found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean had been identified as part of the wreckage of MH370. The flaperon was found on the shore of the French-governed island on July 29.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2015, with the headline ''Plane wreckage with Malaysian flag found in Philippines''. Print Edition | Subscribe