MH370 investigators to meet in France ahead of wing analysis
Paris, Aug 3: Five days after the discovery of a Boeing 777 wing fragment on La Reunion island, French and Malaysian aviation experts will meet together with police and magistrates in Paris on Monday, Aug 3 to coordinate their work in the investigation into the disappearance of Flight MH370.
It comes after a fevered hunt for more possible wreckage on La Reunion island turned up no new clues Sunday, with authorities saying that metallic debris found by locals did not come from an aircraft.
A Malaysian delegation headed by the director general of civil aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and representatives from Malaysia Airlines and judicial officials will meet Monday in a chamber of the three French magistrates assigned to the case.
Investigators from the research section of France's Air Transport Gendarmerie and representatives of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) will also be present to take stock of findings and coordinate on the broader investigation.
Also read: Will reunion debris solve mystery of MH370?
The flaperon is being examined in a military laboratory in the southwestern French city of Toulouse that specialises in plane crash investigations, with results expected from Wednesday afternoon.
The conclusion should determine if it is a piece of the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which disappeared mysteriously March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board -- and possibly provide some clues to one of aviation's greatest mysteries.
Malaysian officials have confirmed it is part of a Boeing 777, making it virtually certain to be part of the missing plane as MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to be lost at sea. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will also dispatch a "technical" team to participate in the investigations in Toulouse. T
he flaperon will be analysed using physical and chemical methods including "a scanning electron microscope that can magnify up to 100,000 times" to understand how it was damaged, said Pierre Bascary, former director of the tests at France's General Directorate for Armament. But beyond the flight identification, analyses are unlikely to draw the story of the disaster, experts say.
"We should not expect miracles from this analysis," said former BEA director Jean-Paul Troadec. Meanwhile, locals on La Reunion island have been combing the shores since the wing part was found last Wednesday, handing over bits of what they believe to be wreckage to police.
"There is a sort of 'treasure hunt' mentality that is taking hold and people are calling us for everything," said a local source close to the investigation.