Update as of 05:21 a.m. EDT: Malaysian officials confirmed Sunday that debris found earlier this week on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is part of a Boeing 777 aircraft. Authorities from several countries have been serching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which was the same type of plane.
"We know the flaperon has been officially identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft," Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement, cited by Reuters.
"This has been verified by French authorities together with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Malaysian team comprising the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370."
Further pieces of metallic debris were also reportedly found washed up on the island Sunday. Media reports described them as small and said authorities quickly took the items away for examination.
Original story below
An object that could be an aircraft door has been found washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, as investigators probe another piece of debris to discover whether it is part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, according to media reports.
Sky News reported that the object was found washed up near the Island's airport, some distance from where what is believed to be a flaperon -- part of an aircraft wing -- was discovered days ago. The report stressed that it was unclear at this stage whether the item was aircraft wreckage.
The object is said to have foreign writing on it and possibly some illustration, the BBC reported.
The news will heighten speculation about progress in the hunt for MH370, which was carrying 239 people when it disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. A huge international effort, including the governments of Malaysia, Australia and China, has been mounted to locate the aircraft, but thus far has uncovered no confirmed evidence of the plane's whereabouts.
The latest discovery follows the uncovering of what appears to be a flaperon from a Boeing 777 -- the same aircraft as MH370 -- and what appears to be an aircraft seat, which have reportedly washed up on the coast of Reunion in recent days.
The flaperon was flown to France, where it is currently being analyzed by air crash experts seeking to confirm whether it is from the missing aircraft or not.
If the debris is confirmed to be part of the missing airliner, it could begin to bring some degree of closure for the families of the missing passengers, who have had no news of their loved ones for over a year.
“One is aware of low probabilities of a favorable outcome,” KS Narendran, whose wife, Chandrika Sharma, was on board MH370 when it disappeared, told IBTimes this week, adding that he would feel “numb, empty and sad,” if the discoveries on Reunion lead to confirmation that MH370 had crashed.