French investigators have identified a washed-up piece of airplane debris on the island of Reunion as part of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The Boeing 777 disappeared more than a year ago.
The wing part, known as a flaperon, was found on the shore of the French-governed island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean on July 29. It was examined at a French aeronautical research laboratory near Toulouse.
Malaysian authorities had already stated that the wing part was from the Boeing 777 that disappeared in 2014. But until Thursday, French investigators had refused to say with certitude whether that was the case.
The Paris prosecutor's office said in a statement on Thursday that investigators used maintenance records to match a serial number found on the wing part with the missing Boeing.
"Today it is possible to state with certitude that the flaperon discovered on Reunion on July 29, 2015 corresponds with that of Flight MH370," the prosecutor's statement confirmed.
The plane disappeared without a trace on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. Most of the passengers were from China. The flight changed course and went out over the Indian Ocean before losing all contact with ground control.
das/jm (AP, Reuters, dpa)