Suspected Malaysian plane piece to be examined by Australia

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Canberra, April 3 (IANS) Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester confirmed on Sunday that another piece of debris, found in Mauritius, will be examined in connection to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Chester said the Malaysian government was working with officials from Mauritius “to seek custody of the debris and arrange for its examination”.

“This debris is an item of interest. However, till the debris has been examined by experts, it is not possible to ascertain its origin,” Xinhua reported Chester as saying.

He did not mention whether or when the suspected piece of debris would be sent to Australia for examination.

Since the beginning of the year, a number of such pieces were found along the eastern coast of the African continent, including along the coasts in Mozambique and South Africa.

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Experts in Australia have confirmed that the two pieces of debris found in Mozambique were “consistent” with panels from a Boeing 777 jetliner, and, therefore, these are “almost certainly” from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Last year, a flaperon washed up on a beach on La Reunion island off Africa has also been confirmed to be from the aircraft.

“That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by CSIRO (the Commonwealth of Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean,” Chester said last month when talking about the two Mozambique pieces.

The governments of Malaysia, Australia and China have been conducting a joint search operation in the southern Indian Ocean, where the flight presumably had ended its journey.

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So far, more than 95,000 square km of the 120,000 square km search zone have been completed.

“As we continue the search in the days and months ahead, we remain hopeful the aircraft will be found,” Chester said.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, soon after take off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board.

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