MH370: Flaperon to be inspected tomorrow


SERDANG - The crate containing a possible flaperon of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 found on Reunion Island will only be opened for examination tomorrow in France, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow said the component, although already in France since Saturday, could only be inspected once all aviation representatives were present.

"It is crucial to adhere to protocol for the verification process to begin," Liow told reporters after launching a new Chinese primary school here yesterday.

The Malaysian delegation in France led by Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman would be present during the opening of the crate, said Liow.

He said Boeing manufacturing experts would be there to verify the identity of the flaperon, a movable panel on the rear of the wing.

However, he could not confirm when the result would be out.

"We need to ascertain beyond reasonable doubt whether the debris belongs to MH370," he said.

Liow had earlier confirmed that the part originated from a Boeing 777 aircraft.

Liow said that on Reunion Island, Malaysia's four-man team had found wreckage from "some sort of aluminium frame" and broken pieces of material, believed to have come from a plane.

He added that if the flaperon belonged to MH370, there would be a tripartite meeting with Australia and China, and the formation of an independent investigation team.

He hinted that the wreckage could belong to MH370 as experts had said it could have drifted to the French territory of Reunion Island, east of Madagascar, Africa, from where the jetliner was said to have ended its journey.

On the search for the aircraft in the South Indian Ocean, Liow dismissed talk that the mission would cease.

"The search is going well and we get weekly reports," he said.

MH370, which was bound for Beijing after departing Kuala Lumpur, vanished en route on March 8 last year with 239 people on board.