26 May 2016

Debris discovered in search for missing MH370

7:38 pm on 26 May 2016

Three newly found pieces of debris are "of interest" in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Australia's transport minister says.

Darren Chester said two of the fragments were found in Mauritius, with another in Mozambique.

They are expected to be brought to Australia to be examined by experts.

"The Malaysian government is yet to take custody of the items, however, as with previous items, officials are arranging collection," he said.

Local ecological association members and volunteers stand behind debris found on August 11, 2015 in the eastern part of Sainte-Suzanne, on France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean,

Local ecological association members and volunteers stand behind debris found on 11 August 2015 in the eastern part of Sainte-Suzanne, on France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Photo: AFP

The plane, carrying 239 passengers and crew, was flying from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in China when it disappeared in March 2014.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing in March 2014 with 239 people on board.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing in March 2014 with 239 people on board. Photo: 123RF

Five other fragments were previously found and confirmed as being definitely or probably from the Boeing 777, which is presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

All were found thousands of miles from the search zone, though within the area models of ocean currents have indicated debris could wash up.

Australia has been leading the search for the missing aircraft, using underwater drones and sonar equipment deployed from specialist ships.

The search, also involving Malaysia and China, has seen more than 105,000 sq km of the 120,000 sq km search zone scoured so far.

Teenager Liam Lotter told local media he had found this metre-long piece of metal on a beach while on holiday in Mozambique in December, and had taken it home.

Teenager Liam Lotter told local media he had found this metre-long piece of metal on a beach while on holiday in Mozambique in December, and had taken it home. Photo: AFP

All the debris is being examined in Australia by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and other experts.

One of the pieces of debris found in Mozambique thought to be from MH370. It reads 'no step'.

One of the pieces of debris found in Mozambique thought to be from MH370. It reads 'no step'. Photo: AFP

But countries have agreed that in the absence of "credible new information" the search is expected to end by July or August this year.

"We've covered a fairly significant proportion of our total search area without finding the aircraft so we have to start considering the alternatives," Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the ATSB, has said.

"But we've still got 15,000 sq km to go, which is a big chunk. So it's not as though we've given up."

MH370-linked debris

  • A section of wing called a flaperon, found on Reunion Island in July 2015 - confirmed as debris in September 2015
  • Horizontal stabiliser from tail section, found in Mozambique in December 2015
  • Stabiliser panel with "No Step" stencil, found in Mozambique in February 2016
  • Engine cowling bearing Rolls-Royce logo, found in March 2016 in Mossel Bay, South Africa
  • Fragment of interior door panel found in Rodrigues Island, Mauritius in March 2016
MH370 Underwater search area

MH370 Underwater search area Photo: supplied

- BBC

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