The long, conspiracy theory-fuelled search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 may be almost over, with the Australian Government confirming today that two pieces of debris found in Mozambique are "almost certainly" from the missing plane.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester released a statement this morning saying that the two panels are "highly likely to have come from MH370."
Chester said that this conformation would allow the search area for the plane to be narrowed. "That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by CSIRO, and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean," he said.
The first piece of debris was found by South African teenager Liam Lotter in December, followed by another on February 27 by American lawyer Blaine Alan Gibson. Blaine has dedicated the past year of his life to traveling the world, searching for plane debris from the missing aircraft, with some dubbing him "a real life Indiana Jones."
Teenager Liam Lotter had been holidaying with his family at a vacation home in Mozambique when he found what is believed to be part of a wing from the missing plane on the beach. His family initially dismissed his find as "rubbish," and his mother nearly threw it away. Lottner only came forward with his find after reading about Gibson's discovery, about 300 kilometres up the coast from where he'd been staying.
Both the panels found by Gibson and Lotter were examined earlier this month in Canberra by both Malaysian and Australian experts from Boeing, Geoscience Australia, and the Australian National University. Gibson's find is thought to be a horizontal stabiliser from the aircraft's tail, while Lotter's is thought to be a panel from one of its wings.
Analysis has confirmed they were from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, overwhelmingly likely to be MH370. The Malaysian Ministry of Transport has informed Australian authorities that the paint and stencilling on the debris are the same as those used on Malaysia Airlines planes
Malaysian Airlines MH370 disappeared on back in March 2014, losing contact less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 passengers and crew on board.
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