Possible wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been recovered from an island off the east African coast, Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said Friday. The ill-fated plane, en route Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappeared March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.
Chester said a “piece of aircraft debris” was found on Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania, the Associated Press reported. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is working to determine whether the debris is from Flight MH370. ATSB is carrying out the search for the missing Boeing 777-200ER, along with Malaysia and China.
The Southeast Asian country will send a team to Tanzania once it is confirmed that the wreckage is from the missing plane, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said.
On Wednesday, ATSB said that debris found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, was not from the plane. ATSB said it examined the part “in conjunction with Malaysian authorities and the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. Information received from the manufacturer indicates that the item is not consistent with the manufacturing specifications of a Boeing commercial aircraft. As such, the ATSB has assessed that the item is not related to the safety investigation or on-going search for MH370.”
The multimillion-dollar search of Flight MH370 has been underway for more than two years. However, investigators, who say the plane likely crashed in the Indian Ocean, have not found any solid clues about the fate of the aircraft. Search vessels have so far combed over 40,540 square miles.
In a tripartite meeting on June 20-21, Australia, China and Malaysia met and reaffirmed the decision to search 120,000 square kilometers (46,330 square miles) in the southern Indian Ocean by August. However, the search for the missing plane is unlikely to extend beyond that if investigators do not find credible information about the potential location of the plane.