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Australia says debris is likely from MH370

“We are increasingly confident that this debris is from MH370,” Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said

Published: Updated:

A part number on a piece of aircraft wreckage found in the Indian Ocean confirms the object is from a Boeing 777, a Malaysian transport official said on Friday.

"From the part number, it is confirmed that it is from a Boeing 777 aircraft. This information is from MAS (Malaysia Airlines). They have informed me," Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP.

Earlier, Australian search authorities said they were “increasingly confident” plane debris that washed up on a tiny Indian Ocean island is from missing flight MH370, with formal identification possible within 24 hours.

“We are increasingly confident that this debris is from MH370,” Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told AFP.

“We are still working with our French and Malaysian colleagues to analyze all the information, so we don't have certainty yet, but we hope that within the next little while we'll be able to get to that level of confidence. We're hoping within the next 24 hours.”

National carrier Malaysia Airlines was operating a Boeing 777 when the ill-fated flight disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, creating one of the most baffling mysteries in aviation history. It was carrying 239 passengers and crew.

The plane piece was found on Wednesday washed up on Reunion, a volcanic island of 850,000 people that is a full part of France, located in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar.

Reunion is roughly 3,700 km (2,300 miles) from the broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia where search efforts have focused, but officials and experts said currents could have carried wreckage that way, thousands of kilometers from where the plane is thought to have crashed.

(With Reuters and AFP)