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Debris reaches Australia for MH370 analysis

Sydney, Australia | March 21, 2016, Monday @ 12:05 in World » GENERAL | Views: 2174
Debris reaches Australia for MH370 analysis

This file photo taken on March 3, 2016 shows a piece of suspected aircraft wreckage found off the east African coast of Mozambique at Mozambique's Civil Aviation Institute (IACM) in Maputo. (ADRIEN BARBIER/AFP)

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(AFP) - Two pieces of debris found in Mozambique have arrived in Australia for experts to determine if they came from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an official said.

A huge search for the Boeing 777, thought to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, has so far failed to find any wreckage, although a piece of wing washed up last year on a distant island.

Two pieces of debris found in Mozambique -- a flat grey fragment with the words "No Step" printed along one side found on a sandbank and a metre-long piece of metal picked up in December by a South African holidaymaker -- have since come to light.

"Both pieces of debris were packaged in Africa and remained that way until arrival," an Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said on Monday.

"They are being opened today with investigators from a range of countries and organisations in attendance.

"Procedures appropriate to maintain the integrity of this potential evidence have been followed."

MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew onboard, mostly Chinese and Malaysians.

A wing fragment confirmed to be from MH370 was found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion last year, the first proof that the plane indeed went down.

The ATSB said last week that a second piece of debris found in Reunion was "unlikely to be from an aircraft".

The bureau said it did not anticipate any statements on the Mozambique debris until the examination process was complete.

The hunt for MH370 is expected to wrap up around June to July if the aircraft is not found in the target zone of 120,000 square kilometres (46,000 square miles).

No crash site has been located, but Australian authorities told AFP ahead of the two-year anniversary of the plane's disappearance that they were still hopeful it would be found.

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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Tags: Mozambique, Australia, MH370, Malaysia Airlines

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