Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester says the two pieces of aircraft debris found off the coast of Mozambique were “almost certainly” from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The two aircraft fragments, possibly from a wing and a horizontal stabiliser, have been in Canberra undergoing analysis since March 20. That work has now been completed, with the Malaysian investigation team finding the two items were consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft.
“The analysis has concluded that the debris is almost certainly from MH370,” Chester said in a statement on Thursday.
“That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by CSIRO and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean.
“I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Geoscience Australia, Boeing and Australian National University which assisted the Malaysian Investigation Team with their examination of the debris.”
Flight MH370 went missing enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board. Efforts to locate the Boeing 777-200ER, 9M-MRO, have centred around a 120,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean, with 95,000 square kilometres having been searched so far.
The two fragments from Mozambique, as well as a wing flaperon that washed up on the coast of Reunion Island in July 2015 and a fourth piece that was discovered in South Africa that is yet to undergo thorough analysis, have been the only trace of the aircraft since it disappeared.
“The search for MH370 continues. There are 25,000 square kilometres of the underwater search area still to be searched. We are focused on completing this task and remain hopeful the aircraft will be found,” Chester said.