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More debris matches missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Andrew V. Pestano
More debris matches missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
The Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield is among the ships searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has been missing since March 2014. Australian officials on Thursday confirmed two pieces of debris found in South Africa and in Rodrigues Island near Mauritius matched parts used by Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft. File photo by Bradley Darvill/Australian Defense Force/UPI | License Photo

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 12 (UPI) -- Two pieces of debris found on beaches in South Africa and in Rodrigues Island near Mauritius are "almost certainly" from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, according to officials.

Malaysian and Australian officials made the announcement on Thursday, raising the total number of pieces believed to have come from MH370 to five. Each piece of debris was found thousands of miles away from the search zone but were discovered in areas where ocean current models indicated debris could end up.

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Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau had "confirmed that both pieces of debris from South Africa and Rodrigues Island are almost certainly from MH370." Australian, Malaysian and Chinese authorities have searched more than 40,000 square miles of seafloor for the missing Boeing 777.

MH370 disappeared March 8, 2014, after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia en route to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The pilots last communicated with air traffic control 38 minutes after takeoff. Three minutes later, the plane disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens.

Malaysian authorities concluded the flight had ended in the Indian Ocean, but no confirmed MH370 debris was found until last year when a right wing flaperon was discovered on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar. The search for MH370 will likely end in July unless there is "credible new information," the Australian Transport Safety Bureau previously said.

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