Investigators have confirmed that a piece of aircraft wing found on Reunion island is from the missing MH370 Malaysian plane, the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak, said Wednesday.
After it was found last week, the part, known as a flaperon, was flown to aeronautical test centre in Toulouse, France, where Malaysian, Australian and French officials gathered on Wednesday to examine it, along with representatives from Boeing – the plane’s makers.
Reunion is near Madagascar.
Prime Minister Razak said the experts had “conclusively confirmed” the piece was from the aircraft.
However, a person involved in the investigation was quoted by the New York Times as saying that experts from Boeing and the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board were not yet fully satisfied that the part had indeed come from Flight 370.
The source said the Americans called for further analysis before reaching a definite conclusion.
Their doubts were reportedly based on a modification to the flaperon that did not appear to exactly match what they would expect from airline maintenance records on a Boeing 777.
The observation was dismissed by French and Malaysian officials who argued that no other Boeing 777s are unaccounted for.
The Malaysian Airlines plane carrying 239 people disappeared in March 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The discovery of the flaperon provided investigators and families of the victims with the first tangible trace of the ill-fated flight.
In a statement, Mr. Razak said the “the burden and uncertainty faced by the families” in the 515 days since the aircraft disappeared had been “unspeakable”, according the BBC.
“We now have physical evidence that flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he added.
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