Aircraft seat cushions and window panes have been found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, only a few days after a part of the wing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was spotted on the island's shoreline. However, it remains to be determined if these are from the missing plane.
Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong Lai made the announcement of the fresh findings on Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), after it was confirmed by international authorities and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak that the flaperon belonged to Flight MH370. The flaperon is the first physical piece of evidence from the missing plane, which disappeared in March 2014, triggering an unprecendented search effort involving several international agencies.
"We have also found debris like window panes, aluminium foil and seat cushions,” Liow said, according to AFP, adding: "They are little parts, but the debris cannot be verified if it belongs to MH370. It has to be verified by the French authorities."
Residents of Reunion Island earlier also turned over to the authorities several items -- including old shoes, scrap metal, a wallet, a tea kettle, a Frisbee and part of a ladder -- some of which could be debris from the plane, though this needs to be verified.
China’s foreign ministry reacted to Malaysia’s confirmation of the flaperon's link to Flight MH370 and said that it corroborated the theory that the plane crashed into the ocean, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"We have to respect the feelings of the relatives and understand the inner torment they've suffered in the past days. Of course, the rescue work has to be continued. We agree with the Malaysia that we need to find out the truth of the accident," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, according to AP.
Flight MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.