KUALA LUMPUR: A team of international investigators have confirmed that the debris found on La Reunion Island on July 29 was from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced early this morning.
“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that part of debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,’” he said at a press conference in Putra World Trade Centre.
Najib added: “It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of those on board.”
Earlier, the prime minister said the days, weeks and months that followed after the plane went missing on March 8 2014 have been a period of torment and anguish for the families of those on board.
Najib also gave his assurance to those affected by the tragedy that the Malaysian government is committed to do everything within its means to find out the truth behind what happened to MH370.
“Malaysia will always honour and remember those on board MH370,” he added.
On March 8 last year, the ill-fated Boeing 777, carrying 239 passengers and crew, was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing before vanishing without a trace.
Ground control lost contact with the aircraft just before it entered Vietnamese airspace at 1.20am, forty minutes after it took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Following the disappearance, a multi-nation search and rescue effort, involving land, sea, and air assets, was launched.
A day after the disappearance, the Royal Malaysian Air Force announced that the aircraft made a turn back and flew across peninsular Malaysia before turning towards the Andaman Sea.
On March 14 last year, satellite company Inmarsat acknowledged that it recorded transmissions with MH370 for several hours after it disappeared from radar.
"I thought I was strong and ready, but I was not able to contain my emotions on hearing the announcement by the prime minister,”
Kelvin Shim, 39, the husband of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 stewardess, Tan Ser Kuin.
The following day, the analysis of its final communication with MH370 revealed that the plane could have ventured into one of two arcs; a “northern corridor” stretching from northern Thailand to Kazakhstan and a “southern corridor” from
Indonesia into the southern Indian Ocean. Investigators ruled out the possibility of the plane flying through the northern corridor three days later.
On March 24, prime minister Najib announced that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
Led by Australia, nations including Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand began their long search for the missing plane in the remote regions of the southern Indian Ocean.
The first aerial sweep of the search area, covering approximately 600,000 square kilometres, was conducted. The size of the search area was later revised to approximately 305,000 square kilometres.