UNITED NATIONS, United States - Malaysia has sent a team to verify whether plane debris washed up on an Indian Ocean island could be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, its transport minister said Wednesday.
The washing up of the mysterious plane debris on the French island of La Reunion prompted swift speculation that it could be part of the missing aircraft.
"Whatever wreckage found needs to be further verified before we can further confirm whether it belongs to MH370," Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters in New York.
"So we have dispatched a team to investigate on this issues and we hope that we can identify it as soon as possible," he added after a UN Security Council debate on a separate Malaysian jet shot down over Ukraine.
The two-meter (six-foot) long piece of wreckage, which seemed to be part of a wing, was found by people cleaning up a beach.
French air transport officials have opened a probe into where the wreckage came from. MH370 vanished without trace in March 2014.
No part of the jet has ever been found. Malaysian authorities in January declared that all on board were presumed dead.
The plane vanished at night over the South China Sea after changing course on its north-bound route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.