Malaysia today said the two more pieces of plane debris found in South Africa and Mauritius “almost certainly” belonged to its jetliner flight MH370, bringing the total number of fragments believed to belong to the missing aircraft to five.
Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said following the “thorough examination” by international experts, the Malaysian Safety Investigation Team concluded that both pieces of debris “are consistent with panels found on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft.”
“As such, the team has confirmed that both pieces of debris from South Africa and Rodrigues Island are almost certainly from MH370,” Liow said.
“This complements the results from the previous examination in March during which the team confirmed that the Mozambique debris were almost certainly from MH370,” Liow added.
Today’s announcement brings to five the total pieces of plane debris from MH370 discovered from various spots around the Indian Ocean.
The two pieces of debris discovered in South Africa and Rodrigues Island were an engine cowling piece with a partial Rolls-Royce logo and an interior panel piece from an aircraft cabin.
MH370’s disappearance is one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries. The plane vanished from radar on March 8, 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people, including five Indians, on board.
The jetliner’s journey is believed to have ended somewhere in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean about 1,800 kilometers off Australia’s west coast.
Despite a two-year investigation costing millions of dollars, only one piece of debris has been confirmed as coming from the aircraft – a 6-foot-long wing flap that washed up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
Australian officials last month had said the two pieces of debris recovered from beaches in Mozambique almost certainly belonged to the missing flight.
Australia is leading the massive multi-nation search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be the final resting place of the Boeing 777.
The relatives of several passengers aboard flight MH370 have filed suits against the Malaysia Airlines amid doubts about the official explanation for the plane’s disappearance.