Thailand today said the plane wreckage found on the country’s southern coast will be examined to see if it is from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared mysteriously in 2014 with 239 people, including five Indians on board.
The metal wreckage, covered in barnacles and measuring two metres wide and three metres long, is suspected to be part of a plane, was washed ashore yesterday on the southeast coast to Bangkok, triggering speculation it could be from the missing plane.
Police official Paijit Pongkaew told Malaysian state-owned Bernama news agency that the suspected wreckage would be brought to the Pak Phanang district police station for the experts from the aviation sector and the country’s air force to inspect it.
“We are in the process of contacting the relevant authorities, especially from the aviation sector and also the air force, to enable them to better inspect the suspected wreckage of the plane,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai appealed to the media not to speculate on the plane wreckage, as it would put more undue pressure on the families and relatives of the missing plane passengers.
“At present there is no official word on whether the wreckage is from MH370, but the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has been instructed to check with their Thai counterparts,” he said.
Experts online commented that the chunk of metal was not immediately identifiable as a piece of Boeing 777-200ER, the type of passenger jet that went missing.
Yesterday, local villagers living off the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand, had reported the discovery of a large metal object, suspected to be part of a plane.
Investigators believe MH370 ran out of fuel and crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, sparking one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history.
In July 2015, a two-metre-long flaperon wing part washed up on a beach on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and was confirmed to be from the flight, marking the first concrete evidence that it crashed.
Nothing has been found since, despite more than 80,000 square kilometres of the seafloor being searched, based on satellite analysis of the jet’s likely trajectory after it diverted from its flight path.
Speculation on the cause of the plane’s disappearance has focused primarily on a possible mechanical or structural failure, a hijacking or terror plot, or rogue pilot action.
The MH370 plane vanished on March 8, 2014 while on a regular flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. There were five Indians on the plane.