‘Aircraft debris’ checked for ties to MH370

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Apparent airplane debris found off the coast of Reunion island, a French department in the western Indian Ocean, is being examined to see if it is connected to the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a member of the French Air Force in Reunion said Wednesday.

The debris was found off the coast of St. Andre, a community on the island, according to Adjutant Christian Retournat. “It is way too soon to say whether or not it is MH370. We just found the debris this morning,” Retournat said.

He said the debris — what appears to be a wing flap — has been taken to the island, located about 380 nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar.

MH370 disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 8, 2014, bound for Beijing with 239 people aboard.

Authorities have said they still don’t know why it turned dramatically off course over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, or where exactly its errant journey finished.

An international team of experts used satellite data to calculate that the plane eventually went down in the southern Indian Ocean. Search teams have been combing a vast area of the seafloor in the southern Indian Ocean, hunting for traces of the passenger jet.

The Malaysian government eventually declared the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 an accident and all of its passengers and crew presumed dead.