Part of a plane wing has been discovered on Reunion Island near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and investigators are looking into whether it could be from an international flight that disappeared last year. The plane piece found Wednesday morning was believed to be part of a Boeing 777, the same model as the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Metro.co.uk reported.
The discovered wing fragment was believed to be a “flaperon,” the part of the wing that controls the roll and bank of an aircraft. An investigation is underway, and flight tracks are being used to try and identify the origin of the plane.
The plane wing may possibly belong to one of three planes -- a twin-engine jet that crashed near the island in 2006; the missing Flight 370; or a Yemenia Airways flight that crashed in 2009 off Comoros. Investigators warned it was too soon to determine which plane the wing originated from.
For those of you watching at home, Reunion Island is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY far from where search teams have been looking for #MH370.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) July 29, 2015
Flight 370 slipped off radar in March 2014 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing, with 239 people onboard. The search for the flight initially focused on the coast of Vietnam, but then speculation sent search crews toward the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. The Australian government also led searches in the southern Indian Ocean, about 2,000 miles south of Perth, NBC News reported.
There are numerous theories about what happened to the flight. One theory is that the plane flew high and fast on autopilot, then ran out of fuel and crashed somewhere off Australia. Some criminal investigators claim the pilot might have caused the disappearance. Souces told NBC News that the pilot, Zaharie Shah, 53, had used his personal flight simulator to practice trips to remote parts of the Indian Ocean, and files from the simulator were deleted a month before the flight’s disappearance.
Malaysia’s government released a statement in January that declared the crash an accident and all the passengers dead.