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MH370 Found: Debris Confirmed As Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight

05/08/2015 19:24 BST | Updated 05/08/2015 22:59 BST
MOHD RASFAN via Getty Images
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (2nd-R) delivers a statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 days after the discovery of a washed-up plane part on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur early on August 6, 2015. Debris found on the islan a week ago is from MH370, Razak announced on, confirming for the first time that the plane which mysteriously disappeared 17 months ago had crashed. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Experts have confirmed that the plane part found on Reunion Island last week in the Indian Ocean was that of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 that went missing on March 8, 2014, Malaysia's prime minister said on Wednesday.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris ... is indeed MH370," Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters.

The Boeing 777 jetliner disappeared while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but the reason remains a mystery.

The first ever physical evidence of the aircraft was found on the French territory of Reunion Island in the Indian ocean, thousands of miles (kilometres) from the site near Australia where the plane is believed to have gone down. "We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Najib said.

mh370

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) delivers a statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 days after the discovery of a washed-up plane part on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur early on August 6, 2015

He added: "The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable. It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370. They have our deepest sympathy and prayers."

In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said the flaperon, part of the plane's wing, found on Reunion Island on July 29 was confirmed to be of Flight 370 by the French agency that investigates air crashes, known as the BEA, the Malaysian investigation team, a technical representative from PRC and the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau in Toulouse, France.

"Family members of passengers and crew have already been informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected," it said.

The statement said this "is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370. We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery."

Possible debris found from MH370

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