March 3, 2016 – Families of those onboard the missing flight Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 urged authorities to scour the coastline of Africa after debris was found on the coast of Mozambique.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said there was a “high possibility” it is from a Boeing-777 but urged the public not to speculate.
In a statement, next-of-kin under the banner VOICE370 called for a thorough search.
“This requires that the coastlines of Mozambique, Madagascar and substantial distances to the North and South be scoured thoroughly to ensure all the debris are (sic) collected and analysed,” the statement read.
“We urge states with assets in the East Coast of Africa to support such an effort. We also seek support from naval powers to supply search assets that allow searches closer to uninhabited/ swampy portions of the coast to be searched effectively.”
Australia’s transportation chief said the location of debris found on a beach was consistent with drift modelling related to the search for the missing plane.
“The location of the debris is consistent with drift modelling commissioned by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and reaffirms the search area for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean,” Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said in a statement.
Chester added that officials will now send the metre-long piece of metal to Australia, where Australian and Malaysian officials will examine it. Earlier, Chester told the Australian Broadcasting Corp that the Mozambique government has taken possession of the debris.
This latest finding comes days before the second anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight on March 8, 2014.
Authorities are nearing the end of the agreed upon 60,000sq km search area in the Southern Indian Ocean and seemed unlikely to expand the search area beyond that.
Families, however, want the search to continue, saying “the drying up of funds for the search is unacceptable as a basis to wind down the search”.
Last year, authorities discovered part of MH370’s flaperon on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean – the only verified trace of the plane discovered since it disappeared.