Mystery around MH370 hopefully to surface amid confirmed debris

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Malaysian authorities have confirmed the recently discovered debris belonged to the missing Malaysian MH370 flight, kindling hopes the mystery around the flight be finally brought into light.

A wing segment, known as a flaperon, has been confirmed as part of the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian authorities announced early Thursday, 17 months after its vanished.

"Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced early Thursday.

"We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on March 24 last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Najib said.

"This is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery."

Nevertheless, what's being announced is far from enough for those concerned about the flight, especially for the families and relatives of the 239 victims.

Examination on the plane wreckage found last week on French overseas island La Runion was started Wednesday in France.

Xavier Tytelman, an expert on aviation security, pinned down significance of "legal proof" in deciding links between debris and lost aircraft.

Evidence may be provided by a serial number that corresponds to the right plane or through an analysis of the painting as it has a chemical trace, much like a digital print which will be very specific and correspond only to MH370, said the former military pilot.

Experts in Paris have avoided being too assertive in saying they have "very strong presumption" the debris comes from the missing Malaysian jetliner.

Deputy Paris prosecutor Serge Mackowiak told reporters this was based on technical data from the manufacturer and airline but gave no indication that a serial number or unique markings that would put the link beyond doubt.

Boeing representatives confirmed that the flaperon came from a 777 jet "due to its technical characteristics, mentioning the color, the structure of the joints," he said.

According to Tytelman, technical analysis is intended to identify if the debris suffered a shock and if yes, what was the angle and intensity of the shock.

"It will also be studied, whether there were chemical traces: for example, traces of explosives or fire," he said.

For Tytelman, the wreckage examination will offer great chances to unveil the mystery of the missing Boeing 777, including where and in what circumstances it went down.

Mackowiak told reporters that a fragment of suitcase also found on the island would be subjected to forensic examination by French gendarme police "as soon as possible."

Prior to the latest discovery, a massive surface and underwater hunt had failed to locate the plane, which went missing on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A total of 239 people were on board the flight, most of them Chinese.

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