Blog

Debris found near Madagascar is likely to be from a Boeing 777, Malaysia’s transport minister said, pointing to a likely new discovery of more parts of the doomed flight MH370.

The

piece of debris found along the eastern African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar appears to be from the tail section of the type of plane that disappeared two years ago, a US official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak publicly, said the debris appears to be the leading edge of the right-hand horizontal stabiliser of a Boeing 777.

He said the part is being transported to Malaysia.

MH370, which disappeared two years ago this month, is the only known missing 777. The plane was en-route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when authorities lost track of it in March 2014, when it was suspected to have crashed into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai urged caution in speculating that the part belonged to MH370, but said there was a “high possibility” the debris was from a 777.

Based on early reports, high possibility debris found in Mozambique belongs to a B777. (1/3)

— Liow Tiong Lai (@liowtionglai) March 2, 2016

Mozambican authorities have no information on the sighting of such an object off the coast of Inhambane province, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Inacio Dina.

The US National Transportation Safety Board declined comment, and referred questions to the Malaysian authorities who oversaw the investigation. Boeing also declined to comment, referring all questions to investigating authorities.

American TV news network NBC said the debris was found on a sandbank in the Mozambique Channel by an American man who has been tracking the investigation into the missing flight.

Engineers who have looked at the debris have said there is a good chance it belonged to MH370, NBC said, citing sources close to the investigation.

I urged everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to #mh370 at this time. (3/3)

— Liow Tiong Lai (@liowtionglai) March 2, 2016

NBC cited sources as saying the piece looks like it belongs to a Boeing 777 and that Boeing engineers were examining the photos.

Australian authorities told NBC they were arranging for an investigation of the piece, which could have drifted to the sand bar. Authorities there have said they are stepping up their search for the missing plane, which had been carrying 239 passengers, many of them Chinese.

The report comes after authorities said last year that they had found a piece of the plane’s wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean on the other side of Madagascar.

Authorities have said other reported debris was not wreckage from flight MH370.

With Reuters, Associated Press.

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.