Mysterious case of missing MH370: Cushions, window panes found on Reunion Island

Kuala Lumpur: Aircraft seat cushions and window panes have been found on an Indian Ocean island where wreckage from MH370 was recovered, Malaysia’s transport minister said yesterday. “We have also found debris like window panes, aluminium foil and seat cushions,” Liow Tiong Lai said.

A team of experts look for debris from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on a beach in Saint-Andre de la Reunion
A team of experts look for debris from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on a beach in Saint-Andre de la Reunion

Liow, who later specified he was referring to aircraft seats and windows, said it remained to be seen whether the items found on Reunion Island were debris from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

“They are little parts, but the debris cannot be verified if it belongs to MH370. It has to be verified by the French authorities,” he said.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak earlier ended a 17-month wait for verified physical evidence from the plane when he announced that a team of international experts had confirmed that a wing component found on Reunion last week was from MH370. The jet disappeared on March 8 last year, inexplicably veering off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The disappearance created one of the biggest mysteries in the history of aviation, sparking a colossal hunt in the Indian Ocean based on satellite data that hinted at MH370’s.

Families vent anger

The relatives of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 expressed anger and disbelief, after Malaysia’s prime minister said wreckage found on Reunion Island was from the plane. The families have accused Malaysian Government of being too ‘desperate’ to link the debris found to the missing plane MH370. They feel that it is not enough for a full closure, as they do not want to hear guarantees of 99 percent likelihood from certain authorities. 

We will find MH370: Malaysian PM
Malaysian PM Najib Razak assured that their government was committed to find out the truth behind what could have happened to the missing MH370. “It has been more than a year but I still remain hopeful. As new evidence and clues emerge, God willing, we will find #MH370,” Najib said on Facebook. Najib, late on Wednesday night announced that a team of international investigators had confirmed that the piece of wreckage found on Reunion Island on July 29 was from MH370.

Brief chronology of the search

Aug 6, 2015: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirms that the debris found on Reunion Island is of MH370.
Aug 5: Investigators and experts arrive at a military laboratory in Toulouse to analyse the probable missing MH370 wreckage.
Aug 4: A plastic debris piece found on Reunion Island.
Aug 2: Malaysian Transport Minister confirms that the flaperon found on Reunion Island is part of a Boeing 777 aircraft
July 29: Aircraft wreckage is found on Reunion Island, which experts believe could be that of the missing MH370
April 10, 2014: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the search area for the missing MH370 has been narrowed to a grid of 40 km by 50 km in the southern Indian Ocean, after the Australian navy vessel Ocean Shield detected signals believed to be from the plane’s black box
March 24: Malaysia announces that new analysis of satellite data suggests MH370 ends in the southern Indian Ocean and Malaysia Airlines tells relatives of the passengers the plane has been lost and none of those on board survived.
March 19: China shifts its search focus from the South China Sea to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia, covering an area of 300,000 square kilometres.
March 17: Malaysian officials confirm “All right, good night”, were the last words from the missing plane.
March 16: Twenty-five countries involved in the search and rescue operation.
March 15: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the disappearance of the missing jet was deliberate.
March 10: China works out a search plan involving four patrol and rescue vessels, two naval warships and adjusts high-resolution satellites to help with the search
March 9: Nine nations join the hunt for the missing plane but no significant discoveries reported
March 8: Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 with 239 people onboard, including 154 Chinese, loses contact with the ground when it is believed to be in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area.

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