A new piece of debris possibly from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has surfaced on the island of Kojani, Tanzania, off the coast of eastern Africa, the same area in the western Indian Ocean where a series of debris fragments — some confirmed to be from Flight MH370 while others await evaluation — have appeared in recent weeks and months.
If the find, first reported on the Tanzania social media site Jamii Forums, proves to actually have been a part of the missing Boeing 777-200 — which vanished on March 8, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing — it will be both the largest shard of MH370 wreckage yet discovered, and the one found at the most northerly location.
— Jamii Forums (@JamiiForums) June 23, 2016
The new discovery comes just a few days after American lawyer Blaine Gibson, who had embarked on a one-man quest to uncover Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 evidence — and has found at least three possible pieces of the plane on island beaches off the southeast coast of Africa — released photos of personal items that he believes may have belonged to passengers on the missing plane.
— SinarOnline (@SinarOnline) June 20, 2016
There has been no confirmation of the origin of the items, which include an Angry Birds backpack, and Gibson says that he realizes they may have “fallen off a ship.”
“Still, I found them on the same 18 kilometer stretch of beach where I found suspected aircraft parts, so it is important that they are investigated properly,” Gibson said in an interview with the BBC.
The following video displays more photographs of the personal items that Gibson suspects may have been loaded along with passengers onto the missing Malaysia Airlines 777.
The Tanzania find was also reported by author and aviation expert Jeff Wise, who has written frequently about the mysterious Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappearance, after a reader of his blog alerted him to the Tanzania social media postings.
Wise described the discovery as “an object that looks very much like a control surface from an airliner….It’s appearance is strongly reminiscent of the flaperon found on Réunion island, although there seems to be none of the broken-off hinge attachments and so forth that were visible on the ends and underside of the flaperon. Also, there is a very visible waterline, which the flaperon lacked.”
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The “flaperon” was a large chunk of the missing plane’s wing that was found washed up on a beach on French-owned Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean in July of 2015. That object was the first trace of Flight MH370 found since the plane vanished — and remained the only trace until early this year when a series of tourists in Mozambique, Mauritius, and South Africa discovered a flurry of new debris.
Another expert on the MH70 case, Plane Talking editor Ben Sandilands, called the Tanzania find “an object of strong interest,” based on images that appeared on the social media platform where the discovery was first revealed.
According to the Jamii Forums posting, “security officials have already begun to investigate the wing and probably soon, we will get information from the relevant authorities.”
— Hippy Girl (@h1ppyg1rl) June 22, 2016
In another development related to the missing plane, a piece of airline debris that turned up on Kangaroo Island, off the coast of southern Australia, was determined by the Australian Transportation Safety Board not to have come from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
“The ATSB recovered the part and examined it in conjunction with Malaysian authorities and the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing,” The ATSB said in a statement. “Information received from the manufacturer indicates that the item is not consistent with the manufacturing specifications of a Boeing commercial aircraft.”
Though not from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the ATSB gave no indication of where the airline debris on Kangaroo Island may have originated.
[Featured Photo By Wong Maye-E / Associated Press]