The Malaysian Airlines jet, which had been travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on 8 March 2014 with 239 passengers on board. Now officials have confirmed that debris washed up on a beach in Madagascar could be from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet, according to a new report from the MH370 Safety Investigation Team. In late November local villagers found five pieces of debris washed up on a beach in Madagascar which were handed to the Malaysian government by wreck hunter Blaine Gibson and relatives of the missing victims. Written on one of the debris was the code WPPS61 which was then deciphered by Don Thompson, one of the Independent Group’s investigators.
Mr Thompson worked out the full code as BAC27WPPS61 – similar to a floorboard label found among the aircraft wreckage in La Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.
The discovery has given a fresh new hope for relatives of missing passengers on board the flight, bringing investigators a step closer to figuring out one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries.
More than 30 pieces of debris were collected all over the world, including three wing fragments found washed on a shore in Saint-Andre la Reunion, eastern La Reunion island, France in 2015.
However, the main body of the missing wreckage has still yet to be found.
V.R. Nathan, whose wife Anne Daisy was onboard the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, said: “We want the government to continue searching for these debris and piece them together like a jigsaw puzzle so that we can get some clue as to what happened to the plane.”
His daughter Grace added: “The fact that debris is still washing up now means that the investigation should still be live.
“It shouldn’t be closed.”
In May this year, the Malaysian Government ended a massive four-year search operation to find the missing MH370 flight.
US firm Ocean Infinity, who was in charge of the search operation, used a deep-sea vessel to survey a large area of the southern Indian Ocean.
The country’s government agreed to pay Ocean Infinity more than £52.3million (US$70 million) if they were successful in their 90-day mission to find the missing aircraft.
However, no significant findings were collected, according to the company’s weekly search report released on 15 May.
Ocean Infinity’s chief executive, Oliver Plunkett, previously said in a statement: “I would firstly like to extend the thoughts of everyone at Ocean Infinity to the families of those who have lost loved ones on MH370.
“Part of our motivation for renewing the search was to try to provide some answers to those affected.
“It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim.
“Whilst clearly the outcome so far is extremely disappointing, as a company we are truly proud of what we have achieved in terms of both the quality of data we’ve produced and the speed with which we covered such a vast area, the likes of which has not been seen before.
“There simply has not been a subsea search of this scale and we hope that in the future we will be able to again offer our services in the search for MH370.”