Tanzania has officially handed over to the governments of Malaysia and Australia an aircraft wing suspected to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people onboard when travelling from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing in China.
The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Dr Leonard Chamuriho, flanked by the Director General of Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Mr Hamza Johari, handed over the wreckage to officials from Malaysia and Australia in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
“This is the largest piece out of the ten parts which have been recovered during the search operation so far. This part will enable the investigations to go forward,” a senior Air Accident Investigator in Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, Mr Aslam Khan, noted.
He added; “We appreciate the tremendous efforts by the government and people of Tanzania in recovering the fragment. I call upon other Tanzanians to inform authorities when they spot any debris suspected to be from the missing plane along the Indian Ocean Coast.”
The wreckage will be airlifted to a laboratory in Australia where experts will try to solve the jigsaw puzzle by fitting together the pieces from the missing aircraft. The Australian High Commissioner in East Africa, Mr John Feakes, noted though that it was too early to assess the implication of the piece in the ongoing investigations.
“It is, however, worth to note that the recovery of the wreckage will provide comfort to families of passengers of the missing plane,” the envoy, whose country is leading the search operations, remarked.
Dr Chamuriho explained that the remains were discovered by fishermen in Kojani, Pemba Island, who later informed authorities and the part was transported to Dar es Salaam.
“We have thus handed over the wing as part of our international obligation to enable investigations on the missing plane to continue,” he explained. So far, suspected parts of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft have been discovered in Madagascar, Reunion Island and Mozambique in the Indian Ocean.
When it disappeared, the plane had 227 passengers from 13 countries and 12 crew
members, all of whom were Malaysians. The DG of TCAA, Mr Hamza Johari, said preliminary examination has indicated that the wreckage is a right wing of a large aircraft, particularly Boeing 777. “Since we have not had a recent accident involving such a big plane and we presumed it was from the missing Malaysia Airlines, we thus contacted our counterparts in Malaysia for further investigations,” he explained.
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