Debris suspected to be from plane, washed up on a Maldives island in May

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Friday, August 7, 2015

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Location of Kaafu Atoll within the Maldives.
Image: TUBS.

Authorities are now investigating what’s left of debris believed to belong to a plane, that washed ashore a small island in the Maldives, after photos were uploaded to the social networking website Facebook. The debris is reported to have washed ashore around May 31 on a beach owned by the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort, located on the small island of Kaafu Atoll. Authorities are trying to determine if it may be part of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370). Last week, a piece of a wing known as a flaperon reported to be from MH370, was found washed ashore on Réunion Island.

Pictures posted to Facebook by an employee of the resort, show some of the pieces before being sent away for disposal. They show a large white object, possibly two, possibly stained with algae and appear to be made of a fiberglass and honeycomb material. The objects appear to be several feet in length and width and in one photo where the paint is severely peeled, red letters “IC” can be seen. Those pieces, along with others, were taken away and disposed of as trash. Authorities investigating what’s left of the debris, a small five to seven inch piece say it doesn’t appear to be part of a plane. The Serious and Organized Crime Unit of the Maldives Police Service and experts from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority are heading the investigation.

According to the resort’s manage Mr. Naseem, the bigger pieces of debris and other waste, were taken away and “disposed like any other debris. People just dispose them off.” He added other forms of debris and trash with no value, such as buoys and suspected military waste, wash up on the islands all the time, especially during monsoon season. Local residents and resort workers regularly collect trash which is sent to the garbage island Thilafushi where it’s sorted, exported for recycling or burned. Reports say at the time the debris was collected, no one suspected it could’ve been from MH370.

“Although some of it was taken to Thilafushi, there is still a five or a seven inch piece on the resort. It was left because it is small. The management has decided to hand it over to the Police,” said an unnamed official to SunOnline. Authorities don’t know if any of the debris taken away, has been destroyed.

MH370 vanished without a trace on March 8, 2014. All 239 passengers and crew are believed to be dead. On the day the plane went missing, residents on the small Maldive island of Kudahuvadhoo claimed to have seen a very “low flying jumbo jet” crash into the Indian Ocean. Some also noted the colors appeared to resemble that of a Malaysia Airlines plane. “I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We’ve seen seaplanes, but I’m sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly,” one resident was quoted as saying to the newspaper Haveeru Daily. Some claim plane appeared to he headed in the direction of Diego Garcia.

According to The Huffington Post Haveeru reported the witnesses were interviewed by authorities who deemed their statements to be truthful, but Maldive military officials along with Malaysian officials, say no such aircraft was in their airspace, above their waters at the time MH370 went missing.

A statement issued by the Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein states, “based on the monitoring up to date, no indication of Flight MH370 has been observed on any military radars in the country. Furthermore, the data of radars at Maldives airports have also been analysed and shows no indication of the said flight.”



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