World / Asia-Pacific

Debris found in Mozambique and thought to be of MH370 examined in Canberra

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-24 09:46
CANBERRA - Pieces of debris found in Mozambique and thought to be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been thoroughly examined in Canberra, a government media statement revealed on Wednesday.

An update from Australia's Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC), the government body in charge of the search for the missing jetliner, revealed the pieces of scrap found on a beach in Mozambique earlier this month had been tested and the agency was eagerly awaiting the results.

The Boeing 777 jetliner disappeared more than two years ago, with 239 people on board.

In co-ordination with specialists from aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Geoscience Australia, the JACC said the debris was examined for "macrofauna", something which could lead to investigators knowing how long the debris had been in the water.

"The items have been treated at Geoscience Australia's quarantine-approved facilities," the statement, released on Wednesday, said.

"The pieces were visually examined to remove all visible macrofauna and then rinsed, submerged and agitated in water to capture any loose fauna.

"All water was then passed through a series of sieves with any possible macrofauna retained. The sieved material will then be sorted and possible biological material identified.

"The items were released from quarantine once they were thoroughly cleaned and all visible signs of possible contamination removed."

The JACC said it could take some time for results of the tests to come to hand, but said in the meantime, "other technical specialists" would be analyzing the actual debris for signs it could be from a Boeing 777.

"A statement on the findings will be made once the examination process is complete," the JACC said.

"Other technical specialists are conducting an examination which will include seeking to identify specific features that may be consistent with the items coming from an aircraft, and if possible, from MH370."

Meanwhile the underwater search operation for the aircraft continues, and "more than 95,000 square kilometers" have been explored so far. The JACC has previously said it would be searching up to 120,000 square kilometers of ocean floor throughout the Indian Ocean.

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