Malaysia: Plane Debris Is From MH370

Flaperon found on Reunion Island belongs to the long-missing plane
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2015 1:09 PM CDT
In this photo dated Wednesday, July 29, 2015, French police officers carry a piece of debris from a plane in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island.   (AP Photo/Lucas Marie)
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(Newser) – Malaysia's prime minister confirmed today that the debris found on France's Reunion Island is in fact from Malaysia Airlines MH370, lost 17 months ago, reports CNN. "Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370," Najib Razak said in a televised statement, per Reuters. The airline announced separately that relatives of the 239 passengers and crew had been notified.

The announcement came as experts assembled near Toulouse, France, to begin analysis on the Boeing 777 wing component, called a flaperon. It's the first confirmed piece of wreckage from the aircraft, and though it confirms the plane's fate, it sheds little light on what caused the crash. "We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery," says the airline. (Read more MH370 stories.)

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