French investigators said they believe “with certainty” that plane wreckage discovered on the shore of an Indian Ocean island in July came from the Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing last year.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had previously confirmed that the wing part found on the coast of Reunion Island belonged to MH370, but French aviation experts who examined the debris were slightly more cautious about making the link when delivering information to the public.
Conflicting statements led to protest from relatives of Chinese passengers on board the flight, who accused Malaysian authorities of planting the wreckage on the beaches of Reunion as part of an elaborate “political conspiracy”.
Yesterday, however, French officials formally identified the wing part, called a flaperon, as belonging to MH370, according to the Associated Press:
The Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement Thursday that investigators used maintenance records to match a serial number found on the wing part with the missing Boeing.
“Today it is possible to state with certainty that the flaperon discovered on Reunion July 29, 2015 corresponds to that of Flight MH370,” the prosecutor’s statement said.
MH370 vanished on March 8 last year while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, including 153 Chinese nationals.