Sydney (dpa) – Two pieces of debris recovered from Mozambique, which arrived in Australia for inspection this week, are “highly likely” to have come from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an Australian minister said Thursday.
The examination of the wreckage has been completed, said Darren Chester, minister for infrastructure and transport, and the investigating team has found that both pieces of debris are consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft.
“The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370,” Chester said.
“That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by [the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean.”
A US lawyer, Blaine Gibson, who has been funding his own search for the plane, found a metre-long piece of metal on a Mozambique beach last month.
A few days later, a South African teen said he had found a similar item on another beach in Mozambique while on vacation in December.
The two pieces arrived in Canberra on March 20 for an examination by investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as specialists from Boeing, Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University.
The Australian-led international search team has yet to locate the missing airliner, which is thought to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
More than 90,000 square kilometers of the underwater area in the ocean has been scoured by the team, who will end the search in July.
Only a wing part recovered from a beach on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion had been confirmed as coming from the missing craft so far.
“A further piece of possible aircraft debris, suspected to be the cowling from an engine, has been found in South Africa,” the Australian-led team said on Wednesday.
“The Malaysian government is working with South African officials to arrange for the examination of the debris.”