A piece of an airplane wing suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has arrived in Australia for analysis, according to media reports. The Associated Press reported Monday that authorities in Canberra had officially received a "large piece of what is likely to be a wing flap" found last month on Pemba Island, near Tanzania.
"Malaysia and Australia have worked with Tanzanian officials to assume responsibility for the wing flap," read a joint news release posted on Twitter by a ChannelNewsAsia reporter. "Technical specialists from the [Australian Transport Safety Bureau] are working with Malaysian investigators to determine if it is from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, MH370."
The news release, cited by the AP, NBC News and Malaysian news agency Bernama, did not appear to be on the ATSB's website Monday morning.
MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Investigators have theorized it crashed into the Indian Ocean, but an exhaustive scan of the ocean floor has turned up no evidence. The five pieces of debris authorities have confirmed likely came from the plane were all picked up by civilians walking beaches in South Africa, Rodrigues Island, Reunion Island and Mozambique, according to NBC.
The end of the search is imminent but has been delayed due to bad weather in the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, representatives from Malaysia, China and Australia are supposed to meet this month to review investigators' progress and decide whether to continue the sweep for the plane.
The nations previously agreed to conclude the search unless they found new evidence that warranted an extension, but Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently told reporters the countries planned to "make an announcement on the way forward," Reuters reported.
The joint statement released Monday said only that the officials would "discuss a range of matters related to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight."