Where Is Réunion Island, Anyway?

Nearly a year and a half after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, the world might finally have its first clue. According to a Telegraph report on Wednesday, a French aviation expert revealed that possible wreckage from MH370 has washed up on the French island of Réunion, and he thinks there's a strong likelihood that it belonged to the doomed aircraft. In light of the discovery, many are undoubtedly wondering one thing: Just where is Réunion, and what does this wreckage explain about the flight's disappearance?

According to aviation specialist Xavier Tytelman, a man who lives on Réunion contacted him on Wednesday with a series of photos of a wing that washed up on shore, asking the expert to weigh in on whether it could belong to MH370. Tytelman told the paper that the possibility is strong:

I've been studying hundreds of photos and speaking to colleagues. And we all think it is likely that the wing is that of a Boeing 777 — the same plane as MH370.Police in Réunion examining the wreckage say that it looks like it's been in the water for around a year, which again would fit with MH370. We can't say for certainty, but we do think there is a chance that this is it.

Another factor that experts must consider is the location of Réunion, and whether it fits with what we know about MH370's disappearance. Réunion is situated in the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar — roughly 3,500 miles away from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where MH370 took off from.

That is a very long way for wreckage to travel, but given that it's been over a year, it's not impossible for it to have found its way to Réunion in that time. At least, that's what Tytelman thinks. Plus, there's further evidence that supports his theory. The code "BB670" printed on the wing could be a crucial clue. Tytelman wrote on the private pilot forum AvGeek:

The code is not that of a plane number plate, nor that or a serial number on machinery. But if the flaperon does indeed belong to MH370, it's clear that the reference will be swiftly identified. In a few days we will have a definitive answer.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Hopefully, that answer will help the families of the victims finally obtain some closure.

Image: Getty Images