Kuala Lumpur (IANS): Verification has confirmed that the debris found on Reunion Island, a French territory about 600 km east of Madagascar, belongs to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced here on Thursday.
“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is in indeed from MH370,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
“We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on March 24 last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Razak said.
The plane carrying 239 people veered off course while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.
The wreckage found last week on Wednesday resembled a flaperon — a moving part of the wing surface — from a Boeing 777. Also found were the remains of a battered suitcase.
According to a report in The Telegraph last week, two mysterious bottles also washed up near the debris. One was a bottle of Nongfu Spring mineral water, which is sold in China.
The second bottle was an unidentified brand of cleaning product, which appears to have come from Indonesia.
AMONG the passengers were two Indo-Canadians: Muktesh Mukherjee, 47, and his wife Xiaomao Bai, 37. Mukherjee was vice-president of operations in China for the Pennsylvania-based XCoal Energy and Resources (see photo). He is the grandson of the late Indian minister Mohan Kumaramangalam.
There were five Indians – Kranti Shirsath (44), Chandrika Sharma (51), Vinod Kolekar (59), Chetna Kolekar (55) and Swanand Kolekar (23) — on the flight, in addition to 154 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, four Americans and two Canadians.