US Air safety investigators have a “high degree of confidence” that aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component known to be belonging to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared last year, a US official has said.
A Boeing investigator identified the component resembling to the “flaperon” from the trailing edge of a 777 wing, the US official said on Wednesday. A French official close to an investigation of the debris confirmed on Wednesday that French law enforcement is on site to examine a piece of airplane wing found on the French island of Reunion, in the western Indian Ocean.
Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to have disappeared over an ocean.
A French television network was airing a video from its Reunion affiliate of the debris. US investigators are examining a photo of the debris. Initial reports suggest the two-metre long wreckage is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, Najib Razak said.
There were 239 people on board when the plane went missing in March, 2014. The last successful radar contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 placed its position over the Andaman Sea about 230 miles northwest of the Malaysian city of Penang. The French island of Reunion is about 3,500 miles (5,600 kilometres) southwest of Penang. The US and French officials spoke on condition that they not be named because they aren’t authorised to speak publicly.