The two pieces of debris found in the southeast African nation of Mozambique “are consistent with panels” from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, the Malaysian transport ministry said Wednesday. The news comes as more suspected plane debris was discovered over the last two weeks in South Africa.
Malaysia’s investigation team, along with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and Boeing, completed the analysis of the debris. The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 advised that both debris pieces “almost certainly” came from the missing Boeing 777-200.
“The dimensions, materials and construction of both parts conform to the specifications of a Boeing 777 aircraft,” the investigation team said in a statement. “The paint and stencilling on both parts match those used by Malaysia Airlines.”
ATSB, which is leading the search for the missing jet, said in its latest search update Wednesday that more than 34,749 sq. miles of the total 46,332 sq. miles of designated search area has been scoured by four vessels. Currently, only one search vessel, Fugro Discovery, is conducting the underwater search operations. The other vessels have left the search zone for resupply.
A multimillion-dollar search for Flight MH370 has been ongoing in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean for more than two years. The Malaysian government announced this week that hunt has cost nearly $70 million.
As the underwater search for Flight MH370 nears its end in June, several suspected plane wreckages have been found near South Africa.
The latest debris was discovered Monday, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said, adding that it is too early to confirm if it belonged to the missing jet.
In July 2015, a flaperon found on the Réunion Island, a French-controlled territory in the Indian Ocean, was confirmed to be part of the plane’s wing.