Canberra: An American amateur investigator handed possible debris from missing flight MH370 to Australian officials and said several pieces were blackened by flames, raising the prospect of a flash fire on board.
Mystery has surrounded the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 since it disappeared on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 passengers and crew on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The Boeing 777 is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean after inexplicably veering off course, but its final resting place has not been found despite an intense underwater search off Australia’s far west coast.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is coordinating the search, said Blaine Gibson handed over the debris on Monday.
“We are seeking advice from the Malaysian authorities regarding how they would like to proceed,” an ATSB spokesman said.
Gibson told local reporters the debris, which had washed up in Madagascar, included what appeared to be an internal panel.
“The top layer of paint has been singed, scorched black,” he told Channel 7 of one piece.
“It also shows some signs of melting, as you see when something is exposed to fire.
“It appears to be from the interior of the plane but not the main cabin, perhaps the cargo hold or the avionics bay.”
Gibson, a lawyer from Seattle, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the pieces could be a “real game changer” if they were found to belong to MH370. — AFP
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