An engine part that may belong to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was discovered Monday in South Africa, just over two years after the plane went missing. The debris was found on a beach near Mossel Bay, a town in a Western Cape province, and will be sent to experts to be analyzed, according to South African authorities.
The part was found by South African archeologist Neels Kruger, who came across the piece while going for a walk around a lagoon near Mossel Bay. Kruger took photos of the debris, which he sent to a pilot friend. When the friend suggested the debris belonged to a plane engine, Kruger contacted the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
“Being an archeologist, I’m always looking for things with my nose to the ground,” Kruger told the Associated Press. “When I flipped it around, I didn’t know immediately what it was but just thought, ‘Oh my word!’”
South African authorities have prepared to send the piece over to a Malaysian team to analyze the piece for any links to Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"The necessary arrangements are under way for the evaluation and collection of the part, which, if it indeed belongs to an aircraft, will then be handed over to Malaysian authorities,” the South African Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.
— Juanda (@mingalababya) March 22, 2016
Earlier in the month, debris found off the southeast African coast that authorities believe may have also belonged to the missing plane. The 3-foot long piece of metal was discovered in Vilankulo, over 1,250 miles from Mossel Bay. It was sent to Australia for testing where it arrived Monday, reported the Guardian.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said further analysis is required to determine whether the latest piece of debris found in South Africa belongs to the missing plane. “Based on early reports, there is a possibility of the piece originating from an inlet cowling of an aircraft engine," he told the Guardian.