The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has received debris recovered by an individual conducting a private search along Africa’s west coast which may be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that operated flight MH370.
Australian media has reported that Blaine Gibson recovered five pieces of debris on the coast of Madagascar two of which appear to show evidence of fire damage. In response to a query, the ATSB has confirmed that it has received the debris from Gibson. It has also added that it is “seeking advice form Malaysian authorities regarding how they would like to proceed.” since Malaysia maintains overall responsibility for the investigation into the missing jet, and is thus responsible for all analysis of possible MH370 debris.
The Australian authority has previously identified a number of other pieces of debris that washed up along the African coast – among them being a flaperon, pieces from the wing, interior and engine cowling – as being from the missing jet, which was registered 9M-MRO.
In the absence of any new leads, the governments of Australia, Malaysia and China have agreed to suspend the underwater search for MH370 once the 120,000km2 primary search zone in the southern Indian Ocean is completed, which will likely occur in December. A number of MH370 passengers’ families are campaigning for the governments to continue the search.