A piece of an airplane has washed up on the shores of La Reunion Island, near Madagascar, sparking speculation that a trace of missing Flight MH370 has been discovered.
The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared over the Indian Ocean more than 500 days ago. The plane piece that washed ashore on Wednesday is a wing flap. It was discovered by workers cleaning the beach at 9:30 am local time, according to ABC News.
Flight MH370 was a Boeing 777 plane. Investigators will attempt to match the numbers on the recovered piece to see if it matches the missing plane. "It is a 777 part...most likely from MH370," former NTSB aviation safety official Tom Haueter said. But he's also cautious. "We've had so many starts and stops on this investigation, you hate to get excited."
The US, Malaysia and Australia have taken part in a massive effort to locate the plane, which disappeared in March 2014. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent searching for the plane, according to ABC News.
Others are even more reticent to speculate on where the plane piece came from. "It is way too soon to say whether or not it is MH370," French Air Force Adjutant Christian Retournat said, according to CNN.
There were 239 people aboard Flight MH370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on its way to Beijing, China. A team of experts determined that the plane went down in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. Everyone on board the plane is presumed dead.
The plane piece contains sea shells and ocean life that indicate it has been in the water a long time. Based on photographs, aviation safety expert Xavier Tytelman believes the piece is consistent with an Airbus or a Boeing plane, according to India Today.