A search plane ready for a hunt for further plane debris

Hunt for MH370 debris expanded

French authorities have launched an extensive search operation to find more possible MH370 debris on Reunion.

Even though the French refused to definitely confirm yet whether the wing fragment found on the French-governed island in the western Indian Ocean came from the missing jet-liner, they decided to dispatch a search plane and several ships to scour the island and the surrounding ocean.

It has been previously confirmed the discovered fragment, a flaperon, comes from a Boeing 777 aircraft and as no other Boeing 777 is currently missing, it is considered highly likely MH370 is the source.

Malaysian investigators, who cooperate with the French examining the fragment in facilities in Toulous, said they found enough evidence to conclude the flaperon came from MH370. They said the paint and sealant found on the 2m long piece of debris matched records produced by Malaysia Airlines.

The French-led search operation will last for a week and cover an area 75 miles by 25 miles around the east coast of Reunion where the two-metre wing fragment was found.

According to the prefect of the French overseas department Dominique Sorain other objects have been found on the island's beaches since last week and have been removed for examination, but officials do not know if they came from a plane.

There remains a difference of opinion between Malaysian officials and their counterparts in France, the USA and Australia over whether the wing part, known as a flaperon, was definitely from Flight 370.

An official in prime minister Najib Razak's office said the Malaysian government owes it to the public and the families of those on the plane to reveal what it knows and to deliver the news first.

"It is our plane and we know it best. Since the French is the investigating team here, they do not want to take our word for it and they want to do more tests - that is fine with us," the official said.

"We are accustomed to criticism from day one, but please give us credit because we are doing our best to cope with this."

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew disappeared on 8 March last year on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Officials believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, probably killing all aboard, but the wreckage and the cause remain elusive despite a vast search led by Australia.


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