MH370 debris found in waters with treacherous currents: hotel owner

JOHANNESBURG -- The Mozambican sandbank where a possible piece of a missing Malaysian airliner was found is in waters with treacherous currents and is not normally visited by tourists, a hotel owner said Friday.

See Full Article

Tony Manna, who owns a beachfront hotel in the Mozambican town of Vilankulo, said American adventurer Blaine Gibson was a guest at Manna's lodge, the Varanda, when he discovered debris that could be a piece of tail section from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8, 2014 with 239 people aboard.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Manna said he connected Gibson with a boat operator nicknamed "Junior," who took the American to the Paluma sandbank and first spotted the debris there.

The location is "not even an island, it's a sandbank in a dangerous area" that can only be reached by experienced mariners who know the waters, Manna said. Fishermen sometimes go there to collect rope and other washed up debris that might be useful for their work, he said.

The Boeing 777 flew far off course for unknown reasons after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, 2014. An ongoing search of the southern Indian Ocean has found no trace of the plane, though a wing part from the aircraft washed ashore on Reunion Island last year.

Gibson said in an interview with the AP on Thursday that he initially thought the piece that he and the boat operator found was from a small plane, and not from the missing airliner. Gibson, who is from Seattle, said the debris is with civil aviation authorities in Mozambique, and that he expects it to be transferred to their Australian counterparts.

Manna described Gibson as a sincere man who is also somewhat eccentric. He recalled that Gibson was emotional after the discovery of the debris.

"I was happy because maybe that little piece can give some peace to all those families" of the people who were aboard the missing airliner, Manna said.

Gibson, who is from Seattle, said the piece of debris is now in the hands of civil aviation authorities in Mozambique, and that he expects it to be transferred to their Australian counterparts.

On Friday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's chief commissioner Martin Dolan, who is heading up the search for the plane off Australia's west coast, said the part should arrive in the nation's capital, Canberra, early next week. It is being taken to Australia rather than Malaysia because the ATSB has facilities set up for examining aircraft wreckage and trained technical staff on hand to help, he said. The part will be analyzed by multiple people, including ATSB materials failure experts, with Boeing representatives and the Malaysian investigation team giving advice.

Investigators hope that once the part arrives, they will be able to confirm whether or not the piece is from Flight 370 within a matter of days, Dolan said.

"All that we know is that it's a piece from an aircraft. It's sufficiently similar to a part from a large passenger aircraft, possibly a 777, for us to want to take a close look at it," Dolan told the AP. "At this stage, we have no conclusive evidence as to what it is or where it comes from."

Even if confirmed to be from Flight 370, Dolan said it was too early to speculate on whether the part could shed any light on what happened to the aircraft, including whether it could clarify if someone was at the controls when the plane hit the water.

The search team has been operating on the theory that no one was steering the plane when it crashed, but some critics have argued there may have been someone controlling the plane at the end of its flight. If that was the case, the plane could have glided much further than investigators believe, thus tripling in size the search area.

"That's the sort of thing we'll have to do a very close analysis of this part (to find out), if indeed it is associated with MH370," Dolan said. "The question we will have to establish to the best of our ability is what level of energy was involved in the aircraft colliding with the water to have led to the separation of the part."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Slim Republican majority on U.S. tax bill under threat after Marco Rubio defects

    World News CBC News
    The U.S. Republican Party's razor-thin margin for driving their sweeping tax package through the Senate was thrown into jeopardy Thursday when Republican Sen. Marco Rubio declared he will vote against it unless negotiators expand the tax credit that low-income Americans can claim for their children. Source
  • Veterans brace for battle and disappointment as pension decision looms

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberal government's plan to give wounded ex-soldiers "the option" of a lifetime pension will be a complicated two-part rejigging of the current system, CBC News has learned. A series of sources with knowledge of the file say the first component involves recognizing the pain and suffering of injuries with either the existing lump sum award, or a monthly tax-free payment to a maximum of $1,200 per month. Source
  • UN envoy says 'golden opportunity missed' as Syria talks wrap up

    World News CTV News
    GENEVA -- The U.N. envoy for Syria said the latest round of Geneva talks ended without progress on Thursday after two fruitless weeks, calling it a "golden opportunity missed" and acknowledging that he needs to come up with new ideas to make headway toward ending Syria's nearly seven-year war. Source
  • Nephews of Venezuelan president's wife get 18 years in prison

    World News CBC News
    A New York judge has sentenced two nephews of the Venezuelan president's wife to 18 years in prison for their conviction on drug conspiracy charges. Judge Paul Crotty announced the sentences in Manhattan federal court after the men apologized for their crimes. Source
  • RCMP looking anew at 284 sexual assault cases from 2016

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Mounties say they are going to take a new look at 284 sexual assault cases that they originally classified as unfounded. The decision comes after the RCMP reviewed 2,225 sexual assault files from 2016 in which police concluded that no violation of the law had taken place or was attempted. Source
  • Paul Ryan denies reports, says he's not leaving Congress soon

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he's not leaving Congress anytime soon, trying to squelch rumours that he will walk away in triumph after the Republicans' treasured tax bill is approved. Politico and The Huffington Post published reports speculating that Ryan would make this two-year Congress his last or even resign after lawmakers approve the $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected next week. Source
  • Britain First leader whom Trump re-tweeted arrested again in Belfast

    World News CBC News
    A leader of a British far-right group, whose anti-Islamic posts were retweeted by U.S. President Donald Trump causing outrage in Britain, was arrested in Northern Ireland on Thursday minutes after being bailed over a separate incident. Source
  • California police bust multimillion-dollar weed 'fortress'

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Police in Southern California raided a weed "fortress" on Wednesday, seizing 35,000 marijuana plants and shutting down an operation they believe was bringing in millions of dollars a month. Investigators first turned their sights on the illegal grow operation about two months ago after receiving complaints from neighbours. Source
  • No jail for fertility doctor who lied about using own sperm

    World News CTV News
    INDIANAPOLIS -- A retired Indianapolis fertility doctor accused of inseminating patients with his own sperm will serve no jail time after pleading guilty Thursday to charges that he lied to investigators. A Marion County judge gave Dr. Source
  • Ex-husband forged documents to hide millions in B.C. divorce case

    Canada News CBC News
    A woman who was earning just $900 a month working in a hotel laundry while her then-husband concealed a fortune has won nearly $1.3 million in spousal support. Quesnel businessman Dalbir Singh Sangha is "an admitted forger and perjurer" who fraudulently hid millions of dollars in assets from his ex-wife, Amarjit Kaur Sangha, according to B.C. Source