The Latest: Wing part may arrive in French city on Saturday

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 30, 2015 2:43 PM
The Latest:  Wing part may arrive in French city on Saturday

PARIS (AP) — Here are the latest developments on the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared nearly a year and a half ago (all times local):

___

8:40 p.m.

The wing component found on an Indian Ocean island may be brought to mainland France on Saturday morning for full investigation, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.

Spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre says the flight may leave the French island of Reunion on Friday night for an expected arrival Saturday in the city of Toulouse, hub to Europe's aviation industry.

French investigators will analyze the wing part because it was found on French territory, and will cooperate with international investigators, she said.

French investigators have been carrying out their own probe into the disappearance last year of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 because there were French citizens among the missing.

___

6:30 p.m.

French officials say a wing part that may be the first trace of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been transferred from an Indian Ocean beach on the French island of Reunion to the region's main airport, and is now under French judicial authority.

A Reunion police official said the wing was found Wednesday in the Bois Rouge neighborhood of the small town of Saint Andre, and was transferred Thursday to the civil aviation authority's offices at the airport in the island's capital, Saint-Denis. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The debris is to be sent to the mainland France city of Toulouse for further investigation.

France's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday that the origin of the wing part remains unclear, and that the French justice system currently has responsibility for it and will cooperate with international authorities investigating last year's disappearance of MH370.

___

5:55 p.m.

The sister of a Flight 370 passenger says she is skeptical that the crusty wing part found on an island in the western Indian Ocean is from the Malaysia Airlines plane.

Dai Shuqin told The Associated Press: "It has been more than one year, and now they claim to have found debris of MH370 on an island? We don't accept this. We do not believe what they claim. The finding does not constitute anything."

She also expressed frustration at the lack of information she has received from Chinese and Malaysian authorities.

Dai's sister Dai Shuling and five members of her family were on the plane. Nearly two-thirds of the 239 people on the plane were Chinese.

___

3:45 p.m.

A French law enforcement helicopter is scouring the waters around Reunion in hopes of spotting more debris like the piece of aircraft wing found on the island in the western Indian Ocean.

A police official who was not authorized to speak about the search on the record said the goal is to "check if there are other pieces of the plane that would have been stranded on the shore."

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading, said the strong currents of the Indian Ocean could conceivably have pushed debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 several thousand kilometers (miles ) from the area where it was believed to have gone down.

"On its own, this piece of debris will not do much to narrow down the search area by very much," Ferreira said.

—By Sylvie Corbet

___

1:10 p.m.

Malaysia's prime minister says debris from an aircraft found on the French island of Reunion will be sent to France for investigation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said on his personal blog Thursday that a Malaysian team is on its way to the southwestern French city of Toulouse.

The sea-crusted wing part that washed up on the island in the western Indian Ocean may be the first trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 since it vanished nearly a year and a half ago.

Najib promised to make any new information public quickly.

Air safety investigators — one of them a Boeing investigator — have identified the component found on the French island of Reunion as a "flaperon" from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said.