A piece of an airplane wing flap that washed ashore on a French island in the Indian Ocean reached investigators outside Toulouse Saturday who will try to determine whether it comes from a Malaysian jetliner that vanished 16 months ago.
The debris, from a part called a flaperon, was transported to the military aeronautics test center in the town of Balma, a spokesman for the national police said by phone today.
Discovered July 29 on a beach on France’s Reunion island, the part will be examined in the same laboratory that scoured fragments of an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009. A suitcase discovered near the debris will be studied at a criminal investigation laboratory in Pontoise, near the French capital, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday.
French television Saturday carried images of the crated piece of wing flap measuring about 2 meters long being handled at Paris’ southern Orly airport before continuing on to the southwestern city of Toulouse.
With the part established as belonging to a Boeing 777, the same model as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, investigators at the specialized center Direction Generale de l’Armement Techniques Aeronautiques will be focused on linking the wreckage to the doomed aircraft.
Boeing Co. is dispatching a team to France, the company said. Malaysian authorities will also travel to France for the investigation, according to the prosecutor’s office, which said the court-ordered appraisal will get under way Wednesday afternoon.
Flight 370 was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur in March 2014 with 239 people on board when it vanished without a trace. Investigators concluded by analyzing satellite signals that the jet turned back over the Indian Ocean and probably plunged into the sea off Australia’s western coast.
This article was written by Tara Patel from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.