The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has yet to find a link between two pieces of debris recently found on a beach in Madagascar by private searcher Blaine Gibson with the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
The two glassfibre-honeycomb debris have no identifying marks that would confirm they come from a Boeing 777-200ER, says the ATSB.
The ATSB received the items by hand on 12 September by Gibson, who retrieved them from a beach in Southern Madagascar in February - nearly two years after MH370 disappeared with 239 onboard.
Gibson and others had speculated that dark discolourations on the debris may be a sign of an on-board fire. The ATSB says however that the dark colouring on the debris was not caused by heat or fire, but is rather from a translucent resin.
There were indications, however, of localised heating to one of the items, and that this area emits a “burnt odour.”
“The origin and age of these marks was not apparent,” says ATSB. “However, it was considered that burning odours would generally dissipate after an extended period of environmental exposure, including salt water immersion, as expected for items originating from 9M-MRO.”
Nonetheless, work continues to determine if the two items came from MH370, or have some other origin.
The Australian authority has previously identified a number of other pieces of debris that washed up along the African coast - including a flaperon, and pieces from the wing, interior and engine cowling - as likely being from the missing jet, which was registered 9M-MRO.
MH370 disappeared enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of 8 March 2014. The Malaysian investigation has concluded that the aircraft, registered 9M-MRO, ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean.