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French begin examination of suspected MH370 wing part

Investigators are in Balma, France, analyzing the part.

By
Ed Adamczyk
The Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield searches for the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 missing in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia. File Photo by UPI/Bradley Darvill/Australian Defense Force
The Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield searches for the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 missing in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia. File Photo by UPI/Bradley Darvill/Australian Defense Force | License Photo

BALMA, France, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Examination of an aircraft part, possibly from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, began Wednesday in Balma, France.

The component of a Boeing 777 wing was found last week, washed up on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The plane, also a Boeing 777, disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people aboard; it is believed to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, but the first discovery of what may be the plane's debris occurred nearly 4,000 miles away on Reunion.

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French authorities invited Malaysian and Australian investigators to Balma, near the city of Toulouse, to aid in the investigation. Paint, serial numbers and other identifying markers will be under examination.

Other investigators are searching Reunion, as well as other islands, including the Seychelles and Mauritius, for more parts of the plane, but thus far only the wing section and the remnants of a suitcase are the only possible evidence found.

Earlier this year Australian authorities expanded the search zone for the missing plane, from 60,000 square kilometers (23,166 square miles) to 120,000 square kilometers (43,332 square miles), and are continuing to search that section of the ocean.

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