MH370 search: 'High possibility' debris is from same plane model

image copyrightATSB
image captionThe Australian Transport Safety Bureau released pictures of the debris found in Mozambique

Malaysia's transport minister has said there is a "high possibility" that debris found in Mozambique came from a Boeing 777, the same model as missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Australia said the location was consistent with models of where ocean drifts could carry debris.

The 1m-long (3.3ft) piece of metal was found on a sandbank at the weekend.

MH370 disappeared in March 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 passengers.

Despite an extensive deep water search, led by Australia, the plane and all its passengers remain missing.

Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Twitter that based on early reports, there was a "high possibility debris found in Mozambique belongs to a B777".

But he said: "I urge everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time."

He said Malaysian aviation teams were working with their Australian counterparts to retrieve the debris.

Australia's minister for infrastructure and transport Darren Chester said in a statement that the location of the piece was consistent with drift patterns of debris and "reaffirms the search area for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean".

He said the piece would be transferred to Australia where it would be examined.

image copyrightATSB
image captionA close-up picture of the item which measures about 1m (3.3ft) long
image copyrightBlaine Alan Gibson
image captionA US man named Blaine Alan Gibson said he found the piece of debris on the Mozambique beach

If confirmed, the object found in Mozambique would be the second piece of known debris from the aircraft to be found. Last year authorities found a piece of the plane's wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.

image copyrightReuters
image captionA wing part from MH370 was found on the French island of Reunion in July 2015

According to reports, the new object was discovered on a sandbank off the coast of Mozambique. NBC News said it was found by an American man who had been tracking the investigation into the missing flight.

Mozambican authorities have no information on the sighting of the object, interior ministry spokesman Inacio Dina told Reuters.

The US National Transportation Safety Board and aircraft manufacturer Boeing declined to comment.

Based on satellite communications data, MH370 is thought to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

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