MH370 search: New debris found on Madagascar beach

Antananarivo, June 10 (IANS) New pieces of debris were found in Madagascar by a man searching for parts of missing flight MH370.

Blaine Gibson, who has already found possible debris in Mozambique, made the latest discovery on Riake beach, on the island of Nosy Boraha in north-east Madagascar.

Gibson has sent images of the finds to investigators.

MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had 239 people on board when it vanished in March 2014. The Malaysia Airlines flight is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean after veering off course.

A number of other pieces of debris, some confirmed to have come from MH370, have been found in countries near Madagascar.

Gibson, a lawyer from Seattle, has funded his own search for debris in east Africa.

This is a man who is now dedicating himself to travelling the globe, finding possible pieces of MH370, a BBC correspondent said.

He does not get involved with the conspiracy theories, he just wants to find evidence.

It’s likely that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of MH370 plane parts littered on beaches in that part of the world. Pieces of the puzzle washed up more than two years after the aircraft disappeared.

Although these latest finds must be verified by the authorities, it seems to confirm that the aircraft ended up roughly where they are looking, in the Indian Ocean six days’ sail from Australia.

Don Thompson, a British engineer who is part of an informal international group investigating MH370, said he thought one piece was from the back of a seat, and the other could be part of a cover panel on a plane wing.

“The seat part I am 99.9 per cent sure on,” he said. “It’s the right colour of fabric for Malaysian Airlines. It shows the seat had to have disintegrated to have come away.”

Gibson said images of the latest finds had been sent to investigators at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and to officials in Malaysia.

He said he was ready to hand over the pieces to authorities in Madagascar.

The ATSB confirmed they had received the latest images, and said it was Malaysia that assessed any new leads.

Also on Thursday, an ATSB spokeswoman said they were investigating whether debris found on Kangaroo Island in South Australia may have come from MH370.

Footage broadcast on Australia’s Channel Seven showed white wreckage that included the words ‘Caution No Step’.

Australia has been leading the search for the missing aircraft, using underwater drones and sonar equipment deployed from specialist ships.

The search, also involving Malaysia and China, has seen more than 105,000 sq km (65,000 sq miles) of the 120,000 sq km search zone scoured so far.

All the debris is being examined in Australia by the ATSB and other experts.

–IANS

py/vt

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