Multiple news reports from Malaysia are quoting its transport minister Liow Tiong Lai as saying debris found in the Maldives did not come from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.The reports are however a bit untidy in that Mr Liow dismissed any connection with the Boeing 777-200ER with enough looseness in expression to no doubt make some people believe that some of it might still have come from the plane, or a plane, and might or might not be brought back to Malaysia for further testing.
All of the English language reports quote Mr Liow using the terms found in this Canadian report, but his intent is clear. The Malaysian minister is saying that it wasn’t wreckage from MH370.
Mr Liow earlier left the media in confusion when he claimed that portions of an aircraft window and other material that might have come from the flight, which disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board on 8 March 2014, had been recovered on the French island of La Reunion.
Those claims were rejected by French authorities despite Mr Liow’s continued insistence that they were true.
The only potential wreckage that has been acknowledged by the French to date comprises a section of wing called a flaperon and a ‘fragment’ of a suitcase. Both have been undergoing tests in a laboratory in Toulouse for almost two weeks after being found on the shores of west Indian Ocean island between Mauritius and Madagascar.
However it has been confirmed by the Toulouse investigators that the ‘flaperon’ is from a Boeing 777, and the only missing 777 is the one that was operating MH370 and it now believed to have eventually flown until fuel exhaustion over the south Indian Ocean for reasons undetermined.
Earlier this week France began a more intensive search of the shores and adjacent seas of La Reunion, which according to a revised oceanic drift study by the Australian research organisation the CSIRO, could have seen the wreckage reach its shores in recent months from a crash site SW of Perth.
Malaysia is currently directing an Australian managed search of a priority zone comprising 120,000 square kilometres of the deep and complex sea floor which began last September, using sonar side scanning ‘towfish’ after a bathymetric survey mapped its natural obstacles in a previously little studied part of the southern Indian Ocean.
The photos which caused all of the excitement about possible MH370 debris in the Maldives included slabs of broken reinforced concrete similar to material lost when a barge overturned in the area several months before MH370 vanished.
However in the quest for the truth about MH370 it seems that no slab will go unturned.