Debris Found on African Beach 'Almost Certainly' From MH370, Say Australian and Malaysian Officials

PHOTO: Blaine Alan Gibson holds debris he found on a beach in Mozambique. Officials are investigating if it is from the missing Malaysian Airline flight 370. PlayBlaine Alan Gibson
WATCH Debris 'Almost Certainly' From MH370, Say Officials

Debris found on a beach in the African nation of Mozambique in late February are "almost certainly" from Malaysian Airlines flight 370, both Australian and Malaysian officials said Wednesday, following an analysis of the two pieces of debris.

"The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370,” Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said in a statement, referring to the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft which vanished on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China. The statement said the pieces of debris "are consistent with panels" from such an aircraft.

Chester added, “That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by CSIRO and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean."

Malaysia's Minister of Transport, Y.B. Dato'Sri Liow Tiong Lai, echoed Chester, saying in a statement, "The dimensions, materials and construction of both parts conform to the specifications of a Boeing 777 aircraft. The paint and stencilling on both parts match those used by Malaysia Airlines. As such, both parts are consistent with panels from a MAS Boeing 777 aircraft, and almost certainly are from MH370."

Late last month, an American named Blaine Alan Gibson was walking along a stretch of beach in Mozambique and found the debris near Benguerra. He reported his find to Mozambique officials.

Despite this announcement, Chester said the search is not over. “The search for MH370 continues," he said. "There are 25,000 square kilometers of the underwater search area still to be searched. We are focused on completing this task and remain hopeful the aircraft will be found.”

Chester thanked the various parties involved in the debris' analysis: “I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Geoscience Australia, Boeing and Australian National University which assisted the Malaysian Investigation Team with their examination of the debris."