Is Airplane Debris Found in Indian Ocean From Missing Flight MH370?

Experts are investigating whether a piece of airplane debris found off the coast of an island in the Indian Ocean belongs to missing flight MH370.

The sea-crusted wing was discovered off the west coast of Reunion Island in the western portion of the Indian Ocean on Wednesday morning.

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Air safety investigators have identified the piece as a "flaperon" from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said.

On Thursday afternoon, CNN reported that Boeing investigators "are confident" that the debis comes from a 777.

Flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014, is the only 777 known to be missing.

"It's the first real evidence that there is a possibility that a part of the aircraft may have been found," said Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss. Australia is leading the search for the plane.

"It's too early to make that judgment, but clearly we are treating this as a major lead."

An official told CNN there would be a confirmation of whether it is the missing plane within the next 24 to 48 hours.

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Malaysia Airlines MH370, a Boeing 777 traveling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, vanished without a trace in March 2014, killing all the 239 people on board. Most of the passengers were Chinese.

Extensive searches in the months after the tragedy turned up no debris from the plane.

Since the flight's disappearance, there have been multiple theories about what happened to the plane.

One theory, based on satellite data, is that the plane veered south into the Indian Ocean after falling off the radar.

If the plane part does in fact belong to MH370, it would support this theory.

On Wednesday, Boeing said in a statement that it remained "committed to supporting the MH370 investigation and the search for the airplane".

It added: "We continue to share our technical expertise and analysis. Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened - and why."

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