Police are investigating a piece of plastic molding that washed up on a beach at Saint-Denis, the capital of Reunion Island, where part of an airplane wing suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was found last week. Some speculated the plastic could be from a plane window, but others were skeptical.
The piece in question was found Tuesday by a man named Bruno, who was jogging along the beach.
"It might resemble the back of a plane window or rather the part where the masks fall, but right now I can't tell you anything,” Gisele Cadar, a brigadier with the national police, said, Australian media reported. "It makes me smile a little because it might as well be from a sewing machine," she added.
In the frenzy that has been dubbed “rubbish fever,” local volunteers and international investigators alike have combed beaches for anything that could be part of the missing Boeing 777, which was carrying 239 people when it disappeared without a trace over the Indian Ocean in March 2014. Most recently, their search has focused on plastic parts, an Australian news site reported.
A local lawyer, Philippe Creissen, posted photos on Twitter of water bottles and other plastic debris he had found on the beach Saturday. He later gave them to local police.
— creissen philippe (@creissen) August 3, 2015
An examination of the wing part, known as a flaperon, is slated to begin Wednesday in southern France, where the part was flown Saturday. Reunion Island is French territory. Aviation experts will try to determine how the part was damaged and find clues as to what happened to MH370, but officials cautioned that the wing flap might yield only limited answers.
“We shouldn’t expect miracles from this analysis,” Jean-Paul Troadec, formerly the head of France’s civil flight authority, said.
Reunion Island sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean and is 500 miles east of Madagascar. It has a population of about 840,000 and an area of 970 square miles.