MH370 investigators to first meet French authorities, says Malaysia's transport ministry

MH370 investigators to first meet French authorities, says Malaysia's transport ministry
End to mystery?: Police officers escorting an airport vehicle transporting what is believed to be the debris from a Boeing 777 plane at the Saint-Marie’s airport on Réunion Island.

KUALA LUMPUR - MH370 investigators will only be able to inspect the aircraft debris collected from Reunion Island after tomorrow, the Transport Ministry said.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said Malaysian authorities had to meet with their French counterparts first.

"The French government has called our team to have a discussion on Monday (tomorrow) and from that we will know the way forward," he said here yesterday.

"It's considered a formality and we have to follow French laws."

Aziz said he was informed that only Malaysia, France and plane manufacturer Boeing would jointly inspect the debris stored at Toulouse at this point, adding that he was unaware if other agencies are also involved.

A CNN report said the US National Transportation Safety Board would also take part, with a French source telling the channel that a preliminary report could come as early as this week.

Earlier, Aziz said Malaysia Airlines had confirmed that the flaperon was from a Boeing 777, though it stopped short of saying that it was from MH370, which was believed to have ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean.

The flaperon was found washed ashore Reunion Island, prompting speculation that it was from the plane.

On a Reuters report that some 30 Chinese family members were planning to sue MAS, Aziz said it was their right to do so.

In a related matter, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he was assured by the French that Malaysia would get full support in the investigation.

Hishammuddin said he would be meeting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian at the end of the month to discuss the matter.

"If the debris really belongs to MH370, we hope that it will bring closure to the family of the victims, and put an end to all the wild theories out there," he said.

Flight MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year.

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