KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Debris believed to be part of a Boeing 777 jet has been found off Mozambique and is being taken to Australia to be examined by investigators involved in the search for the missing Flight MH370, Malaysia’s transport minister said.
Liow Tiong Lai said there is a “high possibility” that the piece of debris belonged to a 777 jet but added he could not conclude yet that it was from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
“The debris will be taken to Australia for further examination,” he told Reuters.
Earlier on Wednesday NBC News said the piece could be a horizontal stabilizer from a Boeing 777, citing U.S., Malaysian and Australian investigators who looked at photos of the debris.
The piece of debris was discovered off the east African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar.
Liow said a team of investigators had been sent to Mozambique on Tuesday to inspect the object. He said Malaysian authorities had sought the help of Australian investigators to secure the debris, as Malaysia did not have an embassy in Mozambique.
Flight MH370 disappeared two years ago when it was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Last year authorities found a piece of the plane’s wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean on the other side of Madagascar.
“It is yet to be confirmed and verified....I urge everyone to avoid undue speculation as we are not able to conclude that the debris belongs to MH370 at this time,” Liow said on his Twitter account.
Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board, and is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean. An initial search of a 60,000 sq km (23,000 sq miles) area of sea floor has been extended to another 60,000 sq km.
Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dominic Evans