Canberra: Calling the La Reunion Island debris a “major lead” in the long hunt for MH370 jet, Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss on Thursday told reporters that it was a “first real evidence” in the search for the missing plane.
Meanwhile, Malaysian PM Najib Razak confirmed that the debris "is very likely to be from a Boeing 777", however he said that the authorities were yet to ascertain if it is from flight MH370. "At this stage it is too early to speculate," PM Najib said in a statement.
Malaysian PM added that debris will be "shipped by French authorities to Toulouse, site of the nearest office of the BEA, the French authority responsible for civil aviation accident investigations".
YAB PM Najib Razak's Statement on the Discovery of Aircraft Debris - Admin http://t.co/ZGKMj1Qq2P
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) July 30, 2015
Talking to the reporters, Australian Minister Warren Truss said that the authorities were almost certain that the 2 metre-long wreckage found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion was a part called 'flaperon' from the wing of a Boeing 777.
Investigators are confident the 2-metre long piece of wreckage appears to be wing flap from a Boeing 777 and as MH370 is only such plane missing since last one and half years, the debris holds great importance.
Australian authorities are meanwhile examining the debris and Truss added that a number imprinted on the debris may help speed up the identification process.
While the number may not be a serial or registration number, Mr Truss said it may be a maintenance number, which could speed up identification of the part.
Truss said while Australian authorities were assisting, Malaysian and French teams would take the lead in this part of the MH370 investigation as Reunion is a French territory.
— ATSB (@atsbinfo) July 30, 2015
Relatives of the 239 people aboard the flight — nearly two-thirds of them from China — have been in an agonizing limbo since the plane disappeared on March 8, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. For months, nothing was found. Malaysian authorities eventually concluded the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean, citing satellite data, but many relatives refused to accept any such conclusion without concrete evidence. \
Now, US aviation investigators say there's a "high degree of certainty" that a wing part known as a "flaperon" found on Reunion in the western Indian Ocean close to Madagascar belongs to a Boeing 777.
A group of many of the Chinese relatives said in a statement that they wanted authorities to be 100 percent certain the part was from MH370, and that, even if so, it should not dampen the resolve to find the rest of the wreckage, the whereabouts of all the passengers and the reasons for the disappearance.
The Reunion debris may finally rule out that missing passengers might still be alive, said Wang Zheng, an engineer in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing whose father and mother, Wang Linshi and Xiong Deming, were aboard the flight as part of a group of Chinese artists touring Malaysia.
The disappearance has been difficult for relatives in China, where the culture places an especially heavy emphasis on finding and seeing the remains before true grieving and the process of moving on can begin.
With Agency Inputs