There is a “high possibility” that aircraft debris reportedly found off the coast of Mozambique came from a Boeing 777, Malaysia’s transport minister said today, the same aircraft model as missing flight MH370.
“Based an early reports, high possibility debris found in Mozambique belongs to a B777,” Liow Tiong Lai said on his Twitter feed.
The US television network NBC reported shortly before Liow’s comments that a piece of debris had been found along the eastern African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar.
NBC cited US, Malaysian and Australian investigators who had seen photos of the object, which the network said could be a horizontal stabiliser from a Boeing 777.
Liow said Malaysia was working with Australia—which is coordinating an Indian Ocean search for the ill-fated jumbo jet—to retrieve the debris for closer study.
He stressed the origin of the item was “yet to be confirmed and verified”.
“I urge everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time,” the transport minister said.
The find comes just days before the March 8 two-year anniversary of the plane’s mysterious 2014 disappearance.
The aircraft diverted for unknown reasons while on a routine overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
Investigators believe the plane rerouted to the southern Indian Ocean, where it crashed. No crash site has been found.
Last July a man on the French-held Indian Ocean island of Reunion found a wing fragment that experts later determined came from MH370, the only confirmed evidence of the plane’s fate to be found.