October 22, 2016

MH370 search: Photos of possible personal items released

Some 20 personal effects recently found on Riake beach by Blaine Gibson include this “Angry Bird” bag

Campaigners for families of those on board missing flight MH370 have released photographs of personal items that washed up on a Madagascar beach, hoping to identify them.
Some 20 items found include purses, backpacks and part of a laptop case.
There are no labels identifying them as belonging to the 239 people on board the jet that vanished two years ago.
The items were found by US lawyer Blaine Gibson, who concedes they may be irrelevant in the hunt for MH370.
“They may have just fallen off a ship,” Mr Gibson told the BBC.

“Still, I found them on the same 18km (11-mile) stretch of beach where I found suspected aircraft parts [of the Malaysia Airlines jet] so it is important that they are investigated properly.”
MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 and is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean after veering off course.
The personal items found include a white, black and red “Angry Bird” purse, a tartan handbag and part of a black laptop case inscribed with the letters “MENSA”.
Mr Gibson, who has has funded his own search for MH370 debris in east Africa, found them earlier in June on Riake beach, on the island of Nosy Boraha in north-east Madagascar.
As well as the personal items, he also found two pieces of debris that may be from the aircraft itself.

He recently found three pieces of debris in that area, having already found another piece of debris in Mozambique in March, which Australian investigators believe is almost certainly part of the missing plane.
Campaigners have released the images on the Aircrash Support Group Australia website to ascertain whether they may have belonged to MH370 passengers.
The group’s chair, Sheryl Keen, said the images were being posted “to make sure everyone has the right and opportunity to view these items”.
“The nature of aviation investigations [means] usually people don’t get to see the nitty gritty of it. But because these have been found by members of the public we’re able to take this opportunity to display the objects,” Ms Keen said.
‘What choice do families have?’

Relatives of those on board the plane have expressed frustration at the official investigation into MH370’s disappearance.
KS Narendran said that while none of the personal items found belonged to his wife, MH370 passenger Chandrika Sharma, investigators’ lack of urgency was disconcerting.
“We don’t sense any sense of urgency at any level,” he told the BBC from his home in Chennai.
“So what choice do families have but to pull together and help whoever they can?”
He said the current search does not include the only areas of the world where pieces of the aircraft have actually been washed up – beaches on the Indian ocean, thousands of miles from the official underwater sea search.
Australia, Malaysia and China have nearly completed a search of 120,000 sq km (46,000 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean, using underwater drones and sonar equipment deployed from specialist ships.
All the debris is being examined in Australia by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and other experts.
But the countries involved have agreed the sea search will end in the next couple of months unless “credible new information” is found.

  1.  A section of wing called a flaperon, found on Reunion Island in July 2015 – confirmed as debris in September 2015
  2. Horizontal stabilizer from tail section, found between Mozambique and Madagascar in December 2015
  3. Stabilizer panel with “No Step” stencil, found in Mozambique in February 2016
  4. Engine cowling bearing Rolls-Royce logo, found in March 2016 in Mossel Bay, South Africa
  5. Fragment of interior door panel found in Rodrigues Island, Mauritius in March 2016

6. Fragments including what appears to be a seat frame, a coat hook and other panels found on Nosy Boraha island in north-east Madagascar.

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