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List of debris with likely MH370 link grows

Malaysian authorities have released a list of 22 items found on beaches along the Indian Ocean’s African littoral region that have either been confirmed as being debris from MH370, or are likely to be so.

The items were found in Reunion, Mozambique, South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Tanzania. The list was published by the Malaysian government on its official MH370 web site.

Of the 22 items, three are confirmed as coming from the lost Boeing 777-200ER: the right flaperon, an outboard aft flap section, and a right outboard flap.

The flaperon, found on 29 July 2015 on Reunion Island, was the first item discovered from the missing flight, and prompted wide media coverage last year. The outboard aft flap section was found in 10 May 2016 on Mauritius, and the right outboard flap on 20 June 2016 in Tanzania.

Five items, found from late 2015 to early 2016, are categorised as having “almost certainly” originated from the lost aircraft: a right-wing flap track fairing; a piece of a right horizontal stabilizer panel; an engine nose cowl; the door R1 stowage closet; and a cabin interior panel.

A further fifteen items are under evaluation, with one item deemed not identifiable.

Items under evaluation include a right hand engine fan cowling, a wing trailing edge panel, and a seat back panel from an aircraft’s in-flight entertainment system.

The list does not provide the circumstances under which the items were found, although they originated from widely separated locations along the Indian Ocean’s western littoral.

Notably, the list excludes two pieces of debris recently found on a beach in Madagascar by private searcher Blaine Gibson. In early October, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it had yet to find a link between the two items and MH370.

The two glassfibre honeycomb pieces of debris do not bear any identifying marks that would confirm they come from a Boeing 777-200ER, says the ATSB.

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.

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