Possible missing Malaysia Airlines debris found off Africa
The only piece of the missing airliner recovered thus far has been a wing flap that was found off Reunion Island.
The fate behind Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 still remains a strong mystery as once again debris – believed to be part of a Boeing 777 jet — was discovered over the weekend and is being examined to determine if it belonged to the missing airliner.
The piece of wreckage, which measured 35 inches by 22 inches, is a piece of horizontal stabilizer skin that is part of an aircraft’s tail, according to CNN.
The debris was found washed ashore on the coast of Mozambique by American tourist Blaine Gibson and a local fisherman, a Mozambican official told CNN. Officials were made aware of the discovery on Monday and the wreckage was handed over to Mozambique authorities.
Gibson, according to NBC News, had been blogging about the search for MH370 during the time of the discovery.
Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia's transport minister, said there is a "high possibility" that the piece of debris belonged to a 777 jet but added he could not conclude yet that it was from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, according to Reuters.
"It is yet to be confirmed and verified....I urge everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time," Liow said on his Twitter account.
The fragment was being flown to the capital Maputo from Inhambane province and would arrive on Wednesday evening. It would be examined in Maputo by Malaysian and U.S. experts, Reuters reported.
An aviation source told CNN that there is no record of any Boeing 777 missing other than the ill-fated Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 — which disappeared almost two years ago on March 8, 2014.
However, Malaysia Airlines said that “it is too speculative at this point” to comment on the matter of the debris, CNN reported.
According to NBC News, this recent piece of wreckage was discovered in the same corner of the southern Indian Ocean where authorities last year confirmed a six-foot-long wing flap belonging to MH370 was found. It reportedly took French aviation experts more than a month to make the confirmation.
Earlier this year, debris that was found in Thailand was ruled out as belonging to the missing airliner, NBC News added.
Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 is considered one of aviation’s greatest mysteries after it vanished — with 239 on board — in the early morning of March 8 while in route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
At about 1:19 a.m. Malaysian air traffic controllers radioed the crew on the flight to contact controllers in Ho Chi Minh City as the plane made its way through Vietnamese airspace, CNN reported.
A response from the crew saying “Good night Malaysian three-seven-zero” was the last contact anyone had with the flight before air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane over water between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Authorities later announced that military radar, according to CNN, had tracked the plane as it changed course. The flight was seen turning back to the west and flying across the Malaysian Peninsula before flying out of range at 2:14 a.m.
Close to three-quarters of a 46,000 square mile search zone of ocean floor has been covered in the investigation for MH370.
Reuters contributed to this article.