France: Reunion Island debris from lost flight MH370

French aviation experts have finally concluded that plane debris found on Reunion Island is from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Prisca Bigot/Reuters
In this July 29, 2015 file photo, French police officers inspect a piece of debris from a plane in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island.

The Paris Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that plane debris found in July on a remote Indian Ocean island was from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which went missing last year.

“Investigators learned Thursday that a series of numbers found inside the plane flaperon matches with records, held by a Spanish company that manufactured portions of the component, linking the debris to MH370,” CNN reports.

The Malaysian government had last month said it believed that the wing part found on Reunion Island – a small, French island in the southern Indian Ocean – belonged to MH370, but French aviation experts had denied a positive identification without more detailed research.

The debris was found washed ashore 2,000 miles from the likely site of the crash.

"Today it is possible to state with certainty that the flaperon discovered on Reunion July 29, 2015 corresponds with that of Flight MH370," the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

French investigators have been examining debris, since it was flown to an aeronautical research laboratory near Toulouse in France last month.

The discovery of the flaperon on French soil mandated that France conduct an investigation under rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“Three magistrates – specializing in terrorism and aviation accidents – were designated to launch the current judicial inquiry into the wing part,” The Christian Science Monitor reported last month.

But as France’s independent judicial probe began, some feared that it could delay offering concrete answers for victims’ families.

“The French don’t have a vested interest in falsifying the findings or unnecessarily delaying the results, as the plane is not manufactured in France,” Francois Godement, a specialist in Asia and international relations and a professor at Sciences Po university in Paris, told the Monitor.

“It just so happens that the debris washed up on French soil and that Toulouse has one of the biggest and best aerospace testing centers in the world,” Mr. Godement said.

MH370 disappeared off the radar on March 8, 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China with 239 people on board. No distress signals were sent out, and the last flight direction of the plane was unknown.

The last primary radar contact with the flight showed its position over the Andaman Sea about 230 miles northwest of the Malaysian city of Penang.

Searches for the plane proved fruitless and spanned thousands of square miles with resources from more than a dozen countries. Eventually, most searches were called off. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.