Australia Alerted to Suspected Malaysian Airliner Debris

  • Suspected cabin debris found on Rodrigues Island in Mauritius
  • Malaysia in contact with Mauritius and will decide next move

A man walks pasts a mural representing the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur.

Photographer: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

Australia has been alerted to suspected debris from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 found in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, a spokesman for the transport safety investigator said, adding authorities in Kuala Lumpur would lead the response.

“Yes we’re aware, we’ve been alerted to the finding on Rodrigues Island in Mauritius,” Dan O’Malley of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said Sunday. “But because this is a Malaysian investigation, they’re in charge of coordinating other nations’ input, so Malaysia is in contact with Mauritius and they’ll be working out how best to proceed.”

The debris was found on the coast of Rodrigues Island by two guests at the Mourouk Ebony Hotel Thursday, CNN reported. Mauritius lies about 700 miles (1,127 kilometers) east of Madagascar. In July, a suspected part of a Boeing Co. 777 plane washed up on Reunion island off Madagascar, and Australia’s transport minister said March 24 that two pieces of aircraft debris found on the coast of Mozambique were “almost certainly” from Flight 370.

The aircraft vanished from radars on March 8, 2014, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. There has been no trace of the 239 people on board, making it modern aviation’s biggest mystery. Families of the victims want the hunt to continue even if it comes up empty, while investigators say the search will end unless fresh clues are found.

Vessels looking for the jet are due to finish scouring 120,000 square kilometers (46,330 square miles) of the southern Indian Ocean by the middle of the year. Authorities still have little idea what took place in the cockpit or why the plane flew off course.

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