Suspected MH370 debris washes up off Africa coast

WASHINGTON • A piece of debris found along the eastern African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar may be from the tail section of the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared two years ago.

Citing United States, Malaysian and Australian investigators who have looked at photos of the possible debris, NBC yesterday said the piece could be a horizontal stabiliser from a Boeing-777, the same type of plane as the Flight MH370 aircraft that was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when the authorities lost track of it in March 2014.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report, and Mozambican authorities have no information on the sighting of such an object off the coast of Inhambane province, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Inacio Dina.

The US National Transportation Safety Board declined comment, and referred questions to the Malaysian authorities who oversaw the investigation.

Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, in a post on Twitter yesterday, said Malaysian authorities were working with their Australian counterparts to retrieve the debris.

“I urged everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time,” he wrote.

Boeing also declined to comment, referring all questions to the investigating authorities.

NBC said the debris was found on a sandbank in the Mozambique Channel by an American man who has been tracking the investigation into the missing flight.

Engineers who have looked at the debris said there is a good chance it belonged to MH370, NBC said, citing sources close to the investigation.

NBC cited sources as saying the piece looks like it belongs to a Boeing- 777 and that Boeing engineers were examining the photos.

Australian authorities told NBC they were arranging for an investigation of the piece, which could have drifted to the sand bar.

The authorities there have said they are stepping up their search for the missing plane, which had been carrying 239 passengers.

The report comes after the authorities said last year that they had found a piece of the plane’s wing on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, on the other side of Madagascar.

The authorities have said other reported debris was not wreckage from flight MH370.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Suspected MH370 debris washes up off Africa coast'. Print Edition | Subscribe