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Malaysian PM confirms wing part of flight MH370; French prosecutor leaves in a huff

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 6 August 2015, 1:49 IST

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed on 5 August, that the part of the wing, spotted on Reunion Island is indeed from Malaysian Airlines jet MH370. Speaking at a news conference he said, "I hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people on board MH370," he said.

The flight disappeared in March of last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 239 passengers and crew were on board the flight.

This announcement by the Prime Minister comes as a surprise to most. It included no details about how the investigators determined the provenance of the wreckage.

"Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion is indeed from MH370," continued the Prime Minister. "We now have physical evidence that on 31 march last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the south Indian ocean."

Soon after the Prime Minister had spoken, the airlines issued a statement, "Malaysia Airlines would like to sincerely convey our deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers onboard Flight MH370 on the news that the flaperon found on Reunion Island on 29 July was indeed from Flight MH370."

"This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery," it added. Priority number one for the airline is to update the families and cooperate with authorities on the investigation.

French investigation

After the Prime Minister spoke, Serge Mackowiak, French prosecutor, held a press conference in Paris. "The only aim here is to get to the truth and to make sure that all the hypotheses are checked out."

"The flaperon which was discovered was brought from the island of Reunion to the directorate general . for assessment," Mackowiak continued.

The analysis began on at 3 pm on 5 August. A number of aeronautical experts conducted the examination.

"I think we can say that as of today there is a very strong supposition that the flaperon found on the beach of the island on the 29th of July actually does belong to the Boeing 777 of MH370, which disappeared on the 8th of March 2014."

"Representatives of the Malaysia airlines company informed us of the elements of the technical specifications of the MH370 flight, and we were able as a result of this to compare this information with the flaperon of MH370. These are very strong suppositions will be confirmed by analysis which will begin as of tomorrow."

He didn't divulge into details on when the analysis will be ready. Investigators are also looking at a suitcase that was found on the island.

Immediately after the statement was given, the French deputy prosecutor left, leaving major quesitons hanging about the difference between his statement and the Prime Minister's.

First published: 6 August 2015, 0:46 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.