24 Mar 2016

Mozambique debris matches Malaysia 777

6:18 pm on 24 March 2016

Two plane parts found in Mozambique "almost certainly" came from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Australia's transport minister says.

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

The two pieces of debris were found separately by members of the public and were flown to Australia for analysis.

The flight disappeared with 239 passengers and crew on board, including two New Zealanders, shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

A white metre-long chunk of metal was found off the coast of Mozambique in February by US lawyer and blogger Blaine Alan Gibson, who had been carrying out an independent search for the missing plane.

Another part was found in December by a South African tourist.

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

The debris was examined by investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as specialists from Boeing, Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University in Canberra.

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said the Malaysian investigation team had finished its examination of the two pieces of debris.

Mr Chester said they were consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft.

"The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370," he said.

"That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling ... and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean."

MH370 Underwater search area

MH370 Underwater search area Photo: supplied

The jet was believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean and an initial search of a 60,000 sq km area of sea floor had been extended to another 60,000 sq km.

The search, also involving experts from China and Malaysia, is scanning the sea floor, much of it previously unmapped, in the hope of locating the wreckage.

Mr Chester said it would continue for now, with 25,000 sq km of ocean still be to searched.

"We are focused on completing this task and remain hopeful the aircraft will be found."

Malaysia had also sent a team to retrieve a piece of debris found this week along the southern coast of South Africa to check whether it could belong to missing flight MH370.

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

A piece of the plane's wing washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, on the other side of Madagascar, in July 2015. So far only that piece, known as a flaperon, has been confirmed to belong to the missing plane.

-Reuters

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