Airplane debris has been found off the coast of Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, and officials are investigating whether or not the parts might belong to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the plane that mysteriously went missing more than a year ago, in March 2014. It's a startling discovery. Finding MH370 was considered to be a long shot, but the part that was found — a wing flap, according to CNN — has me wondering: Will more MH370 parts wash up on Réunion Island? Although only one piece has been discovered so far, there's still a lot of plane left to be found.
Flight MH370 first went missing on March 8, 2014. The airplane left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was headed for Beijing. The plane apparently went off course and then disappeared from radar screens. Xavier Tytleman, a French aviation expert, told The Telegraph that he thought the wing found off the Réunion Island coast was from a Boeing 777 — the model of plane that MH370 was.
Searchers have so far been focusing on areas around Australia, which could explain why other debris has not yet been found. Earlier in July, experts were questioning the company hired to perform underwater searches as to why it had not yet found a single piece. Maybe it's just because they were looking in the wrong place. With this new discovery on Réunion Island, it's likely a renewed search will hone in on that specific area in the Indian Ocean, and we could expect to see new developments — and possibly confirmation that the wing flap is, in fact, from MH370 — very soon.
This isn't the first found debris that was assumed to be from the missing flight. In March of this year, an unopened moist towelette adorned with the Malaysia Airlines logo washed up on a beach in Western Australia. Officials declared that it could have come from MH370, but there was no real way to confirm it. "It is unlikely that such a common item with no unique identifier could be conclusively linked with MH370," an Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesperson told CBS News at the time.
Australia is around 5,000 miles away from Réunion Island, but in a wide open ocean in which strong tides can move anything in any direction, it's not unbelievable to think that the wing flap and the towelette might have come from the same plane.
According to the Agence France Press, French air transport officials have already opened an investigation to determine where exactly the debris might have come from. If the wing flap is identified as part of the plane that's been missing for so long, it's likely more wreckage could be found soon as investigators and searchers now have a more specific area to look.
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