MH370 search: Number stamped on debris 'confirms part of Boeing 777' - as it happened

Chinese water bottles and an Indonesian cleaning product have also been found

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The Independent Online

A Malaysian official has said the number stamped on the debris found on the island of Réunion confirms it is from a Boeing 777 wing. Here are the latest updates:

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According to Boeing's maintenance manual for the 777, part number 657BB is a 'flaperon leading edge panel'. No other Boeing 777s are known to be missing apart from MH370.

Two Chinese-branded water bottles and an Indonesian cleaning product have also been washed up on a nearby beach, although they could be waste from passing Asian cargo ships.

The latest discoveries came as an Australian official said that the debris found on the Indian Ocean island is "very likely" to be from missing aircraft, which disappeared on 8 March last year with 239 people on board.

Martin Dolan, who is in charge of search efforts in Australia, told the BBC that the operation was continuing "in the right place".

The wreckage is being flown to France for further analysis as international teams continue searches on Réunion.


The small French island was one of the places where an oceanographer predicted evidence of the crash could be carried by ocean currents.

A "drift map" created by Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, from the University of Western Australia, suggests that any floating items that continue past Réunion would be washed ashore in Madagascar.

If the debris is confirmed to be from MH370, experts will try to retrace its path back to where the bulk of the plane sank on impact.

But officials have cautioned that the discovery was unlikely to provide any more precise information about the aircraft's final resting place and relatives of the disaster's victims are wary of hoping for closure.