Missing Flight MH370

Plane debris in France for investigation

A white vehicle transporting what is believed to be debris from a Boeing 777 plane that washed up on the Reunion Island, enters to a defence ministry laboratory (DGA TA) in Balma, near Toulouse, on August 1, 2015.
A white vehicle transporting what is believed to be debris from a Boeing 777 plane that washed up on the Reunion Island, enters to a defence ministry laboratory (DGA TA) in Balma, near Toulouse, on August 1, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

Wreckage to be examined by 600 experts; luggage fragment slated for DNA tests

PARIS • A piece of Boeing 777 wreckage that washed up on an Indian Ocean island arrived in Paris early yesterday for investigation on whether it came from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The 2m part was taken to a defence ministry laboratory near the south-western city of Toulouse, where it will be analysed by a team of 600 experts.

The examination is slated to begin on Wednesday.

United States aerospace giant Boeing said in a statement on Friday that it would send a technical team to France to study the plane debris, at the request of the civil aviation authorities.

A fragment of luggage that was found on La Reunion was also flown to France with the aircraft debris and will be sent to a unit outside Paris that specialises in DNA tests. Separately, three French magistrates as well as a Malaysian legal representative and an official from France's civil aviation investigating authority are expected to hold a meeting behind closed doors in Paris tomorrow.

Meanwhile, further search for plane debris resumed on Reunion island. To help solve the mystery of the missing Boeing 777, the French authorities have mobilised significant resources to monitor and control the beach and all the objects washed in from the sea.

A navy ship has made several patrols, while a helicopter and a plane from the air force have conducted air reconnaissance in the discovery zone. But Mr Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau which is leading the search for MH370, cautioned that there were "limits to how much you can determine from just one piece of debris".

"We know that the main debris field associated with MH370 is going to be on the bottom of the ocean, not floating on the surface," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2015, with the headline 'Plane debris in France for investigation'. Print Edition | Subscribe