The two-year search for the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could finally come to an end after Australian transport safety officials announced on Tuesday that debris of a Boeing 777 discovered in the Indian Ocean several months ago "almost certainly" belonged to the missing passenger plane.
Investigators found sections of the downed plane along the coast of Mozambique. The first one to be recovered was a section of right wing that was spotted in December while the second one was a piece of the plane's tail that was found in February.
Despite having discovered the debris some thousands of miles away from the supposed crash site of Flight 370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the recovered pieces had markings that could prove that they were part of the airliner.
The agency pointed out that the first part they were able to recover had the number "676EB" stenciled on it, which can often be seen on the fairing of a Boeing 777's right wing. The font and paint color used to make the stencil conformed to the style used by Malaysia Airlines.
Meanwhile, the second piece of debris had the words "NO STEP" stenciled on it using black paint. The font style and the placement of the marking were consistent with those used by Malaysia Airlines. The tail part also had a fastener on it that can only be found on MH-370.
The investigators are also carrying out marine ecology tests to find out which specific part of the Indian Ocean the airplane pieces came from so that they can further identify the debris. However, ATSB officials are confident that the recovered parts indeed belonged to Flight 370.
"Part No. 1 was a flap track fairing segment, almost certainly from the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft ... Part No. 2 was a horizontal stabilizer panel segment, almost certainly from the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft," the agency wrote on its website.
The Malaysian government had asked the help of the ATSB to formally identify the pieces of debris as those from the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft.