In a special press conference that took place moments ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced that a debris that was found in Reunion island last week has been identified as originating from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which was missing since 515 days ago. Discovered on 29 July, the debris came in the form of flaperon which is part of the plane’s wing.
Here is the full statement by the PM:
On 8 March 2014, Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The days, weeks and months that followed have been a period of torment for the families of those on board.
The plane’s disappearance was without precedent. At every stage, we followed the tiny amount of evidence that existed. But, despite the efforts of 26 nations and the largest search in aviation history, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane could not be located.
Neither could investigations by the world’s leading aviation experts answer why MH370 veered off course and went dark. While the plane’s disappearance remained a mystery, we have shared the pain of those who could find no comfort.
Last week, on 29th July, we were informed by the French authorities that part of an aircraft wing had been found on Reunion, the French island in the Indian Ocean.
Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370.
We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
This is a remote, inhospitable and dangerous area, and on behalf of Malaysia I would like to thank the many nations, organisations and individuals who have participated in the search.
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.
I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened. MH370’s disappearance marked us as a nation. We mourn with you, as a nation.
And I promise you this: Malaysia will always remember and honour those who were lost onboard MH370.
Malaysia Airlines has also released an official statement in response to the announcement:
Malaysia Airlines would like to sincerely convey our deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers onboard Flight MH370 on the news that the flaperon found on Reunion Island on 29 July was indeed from Flight MH370. This has been confirmed jointly today by the French Authorities, Bureau d’ Enquetes et d‘ Analyses pour la Securites de I’AviationCivile (BEA), the Malaysian Investigation Team, Technical Representative from PRC and Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) in Toulouse, France and subsequently announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Family members of passengers and crew have already been informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected.
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.
Moving forward, Malaysia Airlines’ priority will continue to provide latest updates and information to the families and will fully cooperate with the relevant authorities on the investigation and recovery of this tragic accident.
Our heartfelt condolences to everyone that are affected by the tragedy. We hope that the truth will finally be revealed in full as soon as possible.