CANBERRA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) — A large piece of airline debris found off the coast of Tanzania and examined in Australia has been determined to be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, authorities have confirmed.
A statement from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the piece, found on June 20 this year, was part of an outboard flap from the Boeing 777 jet.
"It was confirmed (the part) was the inboard section of a Boeing 777 right, outboard flap, originating from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO," a statement released late on Thursday said.
"The part was preliminarily identified from photographs as an inboard section of a Boeing 777 outboard flap."
"On arrival at the ATSB, several part numbers were immediately located on the debris that confirmed the preliminary identification. This was consistent with the physical appearance, dimensions and construction of the part."
"A date stamp associated with one of the part numbers indicated manufacture on 23 January 2002, which was consistent with the 31 May 2002 delivery date for 9M-MRO."
The ATSB said now the part is confirmed to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, work can begin to determine if the flap holds any clues as to how and where MH370 was brought down.
The Australian-led ocean search for MH370 is due to wrap up by the end of the year, as more than 110,000 square kilometers of a 120,000 square kilometer zone has been searched. Australian, Chinese and Malaysian authorities agreed that if no trace of the jet was found in the zone, the search would be suspended indefinitely.
MH370 was a scheduled passenger service from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.