Australian authorities will test three new pieces of debris found in Mauritius and Mozambique for links to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Darren Chester, minister for infrastructure and transport said Thursday. The news comes as the search for the missing plane in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean is set to conclude in July.
Two pieces of debris have been found in Mauritius and one on the southern African nation of Mozambique, authorities said, adding that the debris pieces "are of interest in connection to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370." The Boeing 777-200 went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A multimillion-dollar underwater search has so far yielded no concrete clues into the disappearance of the jet.
“The Malaysian Government is yet to take custody of the items, however as with previous items, Malaysian officials are arranging collection and it is expected the items will be brought to Australia for examination,” Chester said in a statement. “These items of debris are of interest and will be examined by experts.”
So far, five debris pieces have been identified as definitely or probably from Flight MH370.
Last month, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is leading the search for the plane, confirmed that two debris pieces — a segment of Boeing 777 engine cowling and an interior panel from the main cabin — found on the beaches in Mossel Bay, South Africa, and Rodrigues Island in Mauritius, were "almost certainly" from the missing plane. The agency also said two items from Mozambique, which were found on Dec. 27, 2015, and Feb. 27, 2016, provided almost irrefutable evidence that the parts were from the missing plane.
In July 2015, a flaperon belonging to Flight MH370 turned up on the French-controlled Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.