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

  • North Korea holds drill to mark military anniversary: Seoul

    World News CTV News
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- South Korea's military said Tuesday that North Korea held major live-fire drills in an area around its eastern coastal town of Wonsan as it marked the anniversary of the founding of its military. Source
  • 'We are in a race against time': Yemen in spotlight as UN hosts pledging conference

    World News CBC News
    The United Nations secretary-general and high-ranking government officials from dozens of countries were meeting Tuesday in Geneva to drum up funds for war-torn Yemen, considered one of the world's greatest humanitarian crises. Antonio Guterres and top diplomats from Switzerland and Sweden are co-hosting a pledging conference in the Swiss city that's aimed at helping assemble $2.1 billion US in a UN relief appeal that was launched this year. Source
  • B.C. Greens promise to balance budget, make tax system more progressive

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - British Columbia's Green party is hoping its promise to balance the province's books will mean more support in the ballot box come election day. Green Leader Andrew Weaver released his party's full platform at a campaign event in downtown Vancouver today. Source
  • Christy Clark explains difference between Liberal, NDP donations

    Canada News CTV News
    DELTA, B.C. -- British Columbia Liberal Leader Christy Clark says the difference between her party accepting donations from American lumber companies and NDP Leader John Horgan welcoming support from a forestry union with ties to U.S. Source
  • N.S. Liberals coy about election plans but want accessibility law passed

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- The opening of the spring session of the Nova Scotia legislature Tuesday means an unofficial election campaign, underway for weeks, will be temporarily shelved as the Liberal government gears up to present a budget later this week. Source
  • Manitoba MMIW families say hearings must go ahead

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- A coalition that represents Manitoba family members says national hearings into missing and murdered indigenous women must begin soon despite the uncertainty surrounding the process. An open letter signed by officials with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Coalition says the hearings, slated to begin at the end of May, have been long in coming and families are anxious. Source
  • Arkansas executes 2 inmates on the same gurney, hours apart

    World News Toronto Sun
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • Trump signals Mexico wall funding may wait several months for more pressing concerns

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump indicated an openness on Monday to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico, potentially eliminating a sticking point as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government. Source
  • Converting coal would help China's smog at climate's expense

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday. Source
  • Hollywood's writers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike next week

    World News CBC News
    More than 96% of the voting members of the Writers Guild of America have authorized a strike against production companies. The WGA released the results Monday, a day ahead of the resumption of contract negotiations on a master contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Source