French gendarmes and police inspect a large piece of plane debris which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, July 29, 2015. 
Photo by Prisca Bigot/Zinfos974/Reuters

MH370 flaperon is confirmed as first debris from missing Malaysia flight

PARIS — The Boeing 777 wing part found on the remote Indian Ocean island of La Reunion is from missing flight MH370, French authorities said Thursday after almost one month of forensic analysis.

Investigators were finally able to match a serial number on the flaperon, which washed shore on the French island on July 29, to parts used in the manufacture of the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane.

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The match was made following confirmation with a technician from Airbus Defense and Space (ADS-SAU) in Spain, which had made the part for Boeing.

“It is now possible to state with certainty that the flaperon found on July 29, 2015 corresponds to the flight MH370,” French investigators said in a statement.

The fragment — a 6-foot-long, barnacle-encrusted wing flaperon — was discovered by a crew cleaning the beach.

It is the first confirmed piece of wreckage from the flight, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.

Malaysian authorities said straight away that the flaperon was linked to MH370 but French experts said they wanted to eliminate any doubt using forensic analysis conducted at a military laboratory near Toulouse.

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MH370 flaperon is confirmed as first debris from missing Malaysia flight