MH370 analysis starts on debris: Australia

SYDNEY - Investigators probing the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have begun analysis on debris found in Mozambique, Australian authorities said Wednesday.

So far only a wing part from the Boeing 777 recovered from a beach on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been found.

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 during a Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The two items from Mozambique have been x-rayed and cleaned to remove macrofauna, Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in a statement.

Specialists - including from Australia, Malaysia and Boeing - were "conducting an examination which will include seeking to identify specific features that may be consistent with the items coming from an aircraft, and if possible, from MH370", JACC added.

"A statement on the findings will be made once the examination process is complete." JACC added that Malaysia was working with South African officials to arrange for the examination of another piece of debris "suspected to be the cowling from an engine".

South African authorities said Tuesday the fragment was picked up near Mossel Bay, a small town in Western Cape province.

Mossel Bay is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from Vilankulo, the Mozambican resort where one of the pieces being examined in Australia was found.

Australia is leading the search for the missing passenger jet in the southern Indian Ocean, where the aircraft was believed to have crashed after diverting from its route.

More than 95,000 square kilometres (36,700 square miles) of the 120,000 square kilometres target zone has been searched so far, with investigators due to wrap up the hunt in June-July if the plane is not found in the area.

Australian search officials added that a second "towfish", an underwater sonar vehicle pulled behind a search ship and fitted with survey instruments, had been lost to the ocean floor on March 21. Options to recover it are being considered.

A towfish was lost in January after hitting an undersea volcano but was later recovered.