A piece of debris has washed up on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean which, it is speculated, could be from the missing MH370 plane.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Aviation experts have a "high degree of confidence" the debris, which washed up late on Wednesday, is a component of a Boeing 777 wing known as a flaperon, according to the Associated Press

  • The Malaysian deputy transport minister is "almost certain" it is a flaperon from a Boeing 777

  • MH370 is the only Boeing 777 currently missing in the world and the only one known to have crashed in the Southern Hemisphere

  • The Malaysian government has sent a team of experts to the island to investigate

Reunion is a department of France, seen in the above map at the western edge of the Indian Ocean (Picture: Google Maps)
  • A spokesperson for the Australian government, which has been leading the search efforts, told News.com.au: "the location in which it was found is consistent with our analysis of where pieces of MH370 would have drifted to over the course of more than a year"

Map showing the main search area in the east of the Indian Ocean (Picture: Handout/EPA)
  • If the 2m long piece of debris is confirmed, it would be the first part of the MH370 plane to be found since it vanished in March 2014
  • Malaysia Airlines officials have said it would be "premature" to speculate on its origin

  • Investigators should be able to determine quickly if the debris is part of MH370 as each part of modern aeroplanes have a unique serial number on them, according to the BBC

Background

(Picture: EPA)
  • The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing on 8 March last year

  • It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and lost contact an hour after take-off

  • 239 people were on board

  • Months of search efforts in the eastern Indian Ocean have resulted in no trace

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