[CHICAGO] A part number on the wing component that washed ashore on an Indian Ocean island confirms that it was from a Boeing Co 777, the model of a Malaysian Air plane that disappeared in March 2014, according to a US official.
The wing part is being taken to France by investigators from that nation and will be examined under the supervision of Malaysian authorities, the official said. Photos of the part also helped Boeing identify it, said the official, who wasn't authorized to speak about the investigation.
While investigators haven't determined that it came from missing Malaysian Air Flight 370, no other 777s are known to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.
The part is likely a flaperon from a 777, a movable panel on the rear of the wing that's used to bank the plane and can also be moved to expand the wing's size during takeoff and landing, according to a second person familiar with the development.
Flight 370 went missing in March 2014 after communication equipment on the plane went dark and it turned off its course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and flew into the Indian Ocean. Investigators have concluded that someone on board the plane intentionally disabled tracking devices.
Searchers have found no trace of the plane despite deep-sea sonar scans of tens of thousands of square kilometers. Reunion Island, where the component was found, is about 3,800 kilometers (2,360 miles) northwest of the region of the search.