We may be on our way to solving the tragic mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, after the first major discovery was confirmed on Wednesday.
On July 29, when a few people were cleaning the beach on Reunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean, they found a 6-foot-long flaperon.
A flaperon is a part of the wing of an airplane. Even though the debris was covered in barnacles at the time that it was found, investigators established that it was from a Boeing 777 airliner.
The confirmation from that point was relatively quick, because Flight 370 is the only missing Boeing 777 airplane in the world.
This is the first official evidence of the plane’s destruction, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, said, “I hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people on board MH370.”
The flight, carrying the 239 passengers from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, went missing back in March of 2014, so this tangible evidence and the subsequent confirmation of what events took place has been long awaited by the loved ones of the lost passengers.
Unfortunately, experts think that the flaperon will not help much with locating the body of the plane, which many teams have been searching for nonstop over the past few months. It also will not provide any information about what caused the plane to go down.
If anything, the discovery may help investigators understand the timeline of when the plane actually reached the water.
Since it has been almost a year and a half since the flight went off of the radar, it is possible that more debris has been swept up to the coast of Africa by the ocean currents.
The Hot Zone will keep you updated as the story develops further.