Two Pieces of Debris ‘Almost Certainly’ From Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

By Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
May 13, 2016 Updated: May 13, 2016

The transport minister for Malaysia said on May 12 that a piece of debris in South Africa, and a piece of debris near Rodrigues Island, in the Indian Ocean, are believed to be pieces of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

“As such, the team has confirmed that both pieces of debris from South Africa and Rodrigues Island are almost certainly from MH370,” Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement.

The pieces, Liow said, were a part of an engine cowling, marked with a partial Rolls-Royce logo, and an aircraft’s interior panel.

Experts from Australia, who are examining the pieces, concluded both are found on the Boeing 777s from the Malaysian fleet, Liow said.

He added: “This complements the results from the previous examination in March during which the team confirmed that the Mozambique debris were almost certainly from MH370.”

An American adventurer found a piece believed to be from the aircraft on a sandbank off the coast of Mozambique. He arrived on Feb. 20 and spent his time sightseeing before deciding to look for possible plane debris exactly a week later. He hired a boat to go to the sandbank, which had been suggested by a local tour guide as a place common for ropes and other items are washed up. 

The adventurer, Blaine Gibson, said half an hour after they started searching the sandbank, the tour guide spotted the piece lying on top of the sand and quickly called him over.

In July of 2015, just a few months prior to Gibson’s finding, a wing part from the vanished jet washed ashore on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean.

The search for Flight 370 has been continuous since it lost contact with ground crew and shifted course on March 8, 2014, while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. It is believed to have crashed approximately 1,000 miles west of Australia in the Indian Ocean.

The aircraft’s disappearance remains one of aviation’s biggest mysteries as neither its fuselage nor black boxes have been traceable. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi