MH370: French experts examine Reunion wing part
Experts are due to examine part of a wing that washed up on the island of Reunion last week and is thought to have belonged to missing flight MH370.
The Boeing 777 piece has been taken to Toulouse in south-west France.
An Australian transport expert is helping out in the examination at the invitation of the French authorities. Malaysian experts are also attending.
They may pronounce on the origin of the wing part either on Wednesday or later this week, officials say.
For reasons that remain unclear the Malaysia Airlines plane veered off course on its way to Beijing in March 2014 and crashed into the sea with 239 people on board.
Investigators hope to be able to determine the speed at which MH370 hit the water, and use that information to advise search teams to look for a plane that remains largely intact, or one that disintegrated on impact.
The examination of the wing part will start early on Wednesday afternoon, AFP news agency reported.
Attending will be French and Malaysian experts, Boeing employees and representatives from China – the country that lost most passengers in the disaster.
Jean-Paul Troadec, the former head of the French BEA agency that investigates air accidents, was quoted by AFP as saying that the examination would concentrate on two issues – whether the wing part belongs to MH370 and if so, whether it can provide any information on the final moments of the plane.
Mr Troadec said paint on the wing part – which has already been confirmed as coming from a Boeing 777 plane – was a vital part of the investigation.
“Every airline paints their planes in a certain way… and if the paint used is used by Malaysia Airlines and other companies, there may be more certainty,” he said.
At the same time he cautioned that the analysis was highly unlikely to give any clues as to why the plane so bafflingly went off course.
“One should not expect miracles,” he said.
An Australian-led search for the plane has focused on a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean about 4,000km (2,500 miles) east of Reunion.
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