French officials investigating the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have found debris that could be from a porthole frame of a plane, according to media reports Wednesday. Officials said they had recovered more suspected wreckage Tuesday on the northern coast of French island of La Reunion. Some of the debris was round and appeared to be the same size as a porthole frame.
Officials have been investigating debris found on the island, including a plane wing, since last week, but have not been able to confirm that it belongs to the missing aircraft. The wreckage found on July 29 has been sent to the French city of Toulouse for further investigation.
The missing flight, a Boeing 777-200, disappeared while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. If the wing on Reunion is found to be from MH370 it might offer clues as to what happened in the final minutes before the plane descended into the Indian Ocean more than a year ago.
“Malaysian and French officials may be in a position to make a formal statement about the origin of the flaperon later this week,” said Australia’s deputy prime minister, Warren Truss, in a statement on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.
The search for MH370 has often been hampered by the multinational nature of the probe, with some Malaysian officials expressing suspicious toward their U.S. counterparts, the Wall Street Journal reported. The investigation has also been complicated by the fact that many officials suspect the plane went down as a result of an intentional act. Malaysia launched its criminal probe into Flight 370 shortly after it went missing. Australia’s deputy prime minister said Monday the country still plans to end its search for the missing aircraft.