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MAPUTO, March 1 — Mozambique aviation authorities today displayed the suspected debris from missing Malaysian flight MH370 that was found this week by an American amateur investigator looking for the plane.
The president of Mozambique’s Civil Aviation Institute (IACM), Joao de Abreu, held up the triangular piece to show to journalists, but insisted that speculation it belonged to the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was premature.
“It’s very difficult for any crash investigator to confirm which type of plane that piece belongs to,” de Abreu said.
The words “No Step” were printed along one side of the flat grey fragment that was discovered by Blaine Gibson near the tourist island of Benguerra off the east African coast.
De Abreu said Malaysia and Australia, which have led the search for the plane, had been informed about the debris, but no decision had been made about where it would be taken.
“We will follow the diplomatic channels to facilitate what’s necessary from our side,” he said.
Gibson told an NBC affiliate station based in Seattle that he had chartered a boat to reach the remote sandbank where ocean debris was known to wash up.
“I urge everybody to be cautious and to not just jump to the conclusion that it’s from MH370,” Gibson told the station. “Wait until the professionals make the determination.”
Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there was a “high probability” that the debris was from a Boeing 777.
The find comes shortly before the March 8 two-year anniversary of the plane’s mysterious disappearance while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
Last July, a wing fragment was found washed ashore on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and later confirmed to be from MH370. — AFP