Australian authorities have indicated that the debris, suspected to be of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, wasn’t exposed to fire. The airplane parts were turned in by a U.S. amateur investigator. While this merely means the components weren’t on fire, authorities have further questioned whether the parts truly belong to the passenger jet that went missing more than two years ago.
The mystery of MH370 continues to baffle investigators. Even the recently turned in airplane parts that are suspected to be of the missing passenger jet were not exposed to intense heat or fire. While this certainly does not rule out the plane might have caught fire before going down, it merely means the components weren’t on fire. However, authorities have considerable doubts about the parts, and many experts have questioned whether they do belong to the missing plane as there have been no identifying markings.
MH370 search: Doubts over 'debris burn marks' https://t.co/0m9JcjhKOx
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 22, 2016
Hopes of recovering the missing MH370 were rekindled after pieces of debris that seemed to show burn marks were recovered in Madagascar. The five fairly large fragments, which certainly belong to an aircraft, were recovered by debris hunter Blaine Gibson. The amateur investigator has submitted a few more components, which he insists belong to the MH370. This time around, the fragments appeared near Sainte Luce, in southeastern Madagascar. Gibson informed local media that one piece appeared to show “some signs of melting… as you see when something is exposed to fire.”
— dna (@dna) September 22, 2016
There were speculations about MH370 catching fire and burning up after the recently recovered pieces appeared to show burn marks. Experts were hopeful that these pieces could indicate what exactly might have happened to flight MH370. Unfortunately, the burn marks turned out to be polymer degradation. Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester confirmed Thursday that preliminary investigation indicated that “contrary to speculation there is no evidence the item was exposed to heat or fire.”
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The dark markings on the two pieces of debris “related exclusively to a translucent resin that had been applied to those surfaces,” noted a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Incidentally, one of the fragments did have small burn marks. These, however, were signs of “localized heating,” added ATSB. In other words, the pieces hadn’t suffered any large-scale inferno. Moreover, the pieces were darkened because of a resin that had deteriorated due to the elements, continued the ATSB report,
“The debris’ burnt smell was likely caused by something more recent than the MH370 crash, given that burning odors would generally dissipate after an extended period of environmental exposure, including salt water immersion.”
— WLP (@Bookofresearch) September 19, 2016
The debris might not be of MH370? After the initial examination of the debris, authorities aren’t even confident that they belong to a Boeing 777, let alone the missing plane, continued Chester,
“With the agreement of the government of Malaysia, the ATSB examined the items but found no manufacturing identifiers such as part numbers or serial numbers that provided clues as to the items’ origins.
“The origin and age of these marks was not apparent. At this stage it is not possible to determine whether the debris is from MH370 or indeed even a Boeing 777. Further work will be undertaken in an attempt to determine the origin of the items, specifically whether they originated from a Boeing 777 aircraft.”
— Astro AWANI (@501Awani) September 16, 2016
The ATSB has been coordinating the search for the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 passengers and crew. Till date the agency has received several airplane parts that many insisted belonged to the missing passenger jet. However, only two pieces have so far been conclusively connected to the aircraft: a flaperon found near Reunion Island and a wing part located near Tanzania.
[Featured Image by Greg Baker/Getty Images]