5 Things We Know So Far About The Possible MH370 Debris Found Near Mozambique
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has urged everyone to avoid undue speculation.
There could be a new breakthrough for the missing MH370 plane as a debris was discovered in Mozambique, two years after the Malaysia Airlines flight mysteriously disappeared on 8 March 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Here's what we know so far:
1. The piece of debris was found on a sandbank in the Mozambique Channel, a body of water between Mozambique in eastern Africa and Madagascar
Early photographic analysis of the object suggests it could have come from the doomed jet, which vanished almost exactly 2 years ago.
Investigators in Malaysia, Australia and the U.S. have seen photographs of the latest object and sources say there is a good chance it comes from a Boeing 777.
The object has the words "NO STEP" on it and could be from the plane's horizontal stabilizer — the wing-like parts attached to the tail, sources say. It was discovered by an American who has been blogging about the search for MH370.
2. An American lawyer and blogger found the piece of wreckage
Blaine Gibson was away in the coast of Mozambique for a trip when he and the owner of the boat found the plane part washed ashore on a sandbar. He has been involved in the search for MH370 as a private citizen.
"It never occurred to me that I would find something like this here. It's almost like a dream. I don't know if it's from 370 or another plane. Whatever it is, even if it's not from 370, it raises awareness that people need to look for stuff on beaches," said Gibson.
The discovery was reported to officials Monday (29 February), and Gibson handed over his find to Mozambique authorities, said Cmdr. Joao de Abreu Martins, chairman of the Institute of Civil Aviation of Mozambique.
3. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai tweeted that there was a "high possibility" that the debris found in Mozambique belongs to a Boeing 777 but urged everyone not to speculate while the authorities are working to verify the wreckage
Based on early reports, high possibility debris found in Mozambique belongs to a B777. (1/3)— Liow Tiong Lai (@liowtionglai) March 2, 2016
It is yet to be confirmed & verified. @dca_malaysia working w Australian counterparts to retrieve the debris. (2/3)— Liow Tiong Lai (@liowtionglai) March 2, 2016
4. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Boeing and Malaysian Airlines all declined to comment
Boeing engineers were looking at the photos, according to sources, but the company declined to comment.freemalaysiatoday.com
The airline displayed similar caution Wednesday (2 March) when it would not confirm that the newly found debris is from MH370.
"It is too speculative at this point for MAS to comment," the airline said, using its initials.
5. If confirmed, this will be the second piece of known debris from the aircraft, the first being a piece of the plane's wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean that was discovered last year
Despite extensive searches of the southern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, the only trace of the plane has been a wing part known as a flaperon that washed ashore last July on the French island of Réunion.
The island, off the east coast of Africa, is about 2,300 miles (3,700km) from the current search area in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.
Last year, authorities found a piece of the plane's wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean on the other side of Madagascar: