Debris found in Mauritius is confirmed to be from MH370

After 2.5 years and 110,000 square kilometres searched, authorities say they remain hopeful that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be found.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Children write messages of hope for passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Australian authorities announced on Friday that a piece of wing debris found in Mauritius is from the missing Malaysian airliner MH370, but they said the discovery revealed no new information on the missing plane's location.

MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. 

Although authorities have focused their search in the southern Indian Ocean where they believed the plane crashed, no trace of the aircraft has been found there.

The composite debris, recovered from Mauritius in May, is the latest fragment found along western Indian Ocean shorelines linked to Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The government agency leading the search, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said in a report that the debris found, "was a trailing edge section of Boeing 777 left, outboard flap, originating from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO (MH370)."

ATSB added "a part number was identified on a section of the debris,"  and another "unique work order number" assigned by the flap manufacturer corresponded to MH370.

"The finding of this debris... continues to affirm the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean," said Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester in a statement.

"It does not, however, provide information that can be used to determine a specific location of the aircraft." Chester said but reiterated that investigators "remain hopeful" that MH370 would be found.

The failure to locate any debris in the search zone has fuelled speculation the plane may have crashed outside the area.

Several pieces of debris linked to the flight have been discovered along western Indian Ocean shorelines -- in Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius.

More than 110,000 square kilometres of the search area has been scoured so far, Australia said this week, adding that the hunt was set to be completed in December.

AFP, TRTWorld and agencies