Aviation

MH370 breakthrough: Relatives claim more debris has been found

Relatives of passengers who disappeared on Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight claim to have found new pieces of debris from the aircraft.

MH370 went missing on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board, including six Australians, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The flight is thought to have changed course shortly after leaving Malaysian airspace, flying for more than six hours with its navigation systems turned off before plunging into the Indian Ocean.

According to SBS, 27 pieces of debris have been found in total from various locations around the world, but just three wing fragments have been confirmed to belong to the aircraft.

The relatives in possession of the piece of debris presented it to Malaysia’s transport minister on Friday.

Calvin Shim, whose wife was a crew member on the doomed plane, told Reuters the group would hand over five pieces of debris that were found off the coast of Madagascar, where some of the wing fragments were found.

Wreck hunter Blaine Gibson, who handed over the debris with the next of kin, said the pieces prove conclusively that the plane broke apart on impact, according to Perth Now.

“The debris proves two things. MH370 crashed violently and it almost certainly is in the Southern Indian Ocean,” he said.

Gibson said the debris has been identified using a fragment of a label still attached as part of the floor panel.

Picture: Geoffrey Thomas
Picture: Geoffrey Thomas

“Don Thompson, one of the Independent Group investigating MH370’s disappearance, found the actual identification label for the Boeing 777,” Gibson said.

In July Malaysian investigators released their final report on the disappearance of the flight, concluding they had not been able to determine the cause of the plane’s disappearance.

However, what they were able to determine was that the plane was manually turned around mid-air, cancelling out speculation that it had been under control of autopilot. The report also concluded that “unlawful interference by a third party” could not be ruled out.

Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has previously said investigators would consider continuing the search if new clues came to light.

The plane’s disappearance has turned into one of the largest underwater search operations in history, turning up no results besides three wing fragments.

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