‘Our hearts go out to them’: Bishop shares sympathy for MH370 families
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says her heart goes out to the families of victims aboard MH370 as they wait for answers about what happened to the plane that went missing almost 17 months ago.
More debris including seat cushions, window material and some aluminium foil has washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, Malaysian officials said on Thursday night.
This comes a day after it was confirmed by Malaysia’s prime minister that part of a wing found there was from the flight that is presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Ms Bishop says the search for the missing plane is continuing and she’s sure teams are scouring the right area, while consular officials are in contact with the family members of the Australian victims.
“I understand that they are deeply concerned,” she said.
“They want answers. It’s been 16 months or more now since the disappearance of MH370.
“Our hearts go out to them today and every day that they are waiting for answers as to what happened to MH370.
“But at least the finding of this piece of wing gives us hope that we are searching in the right location, given the tides and currents and drift patterns.”
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said a maintenance seal on the plane part know as a flaperon matches the airline’s records, though he hasn’t elaborated.
France is deploying new air and maritime resources off the remote Indian Ocean island in the search for more wreckage from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.
French investigators have not been sent any new wreckage to analyse.
Tests on the wing part found last week are still ongoing. But Ms Bishop says it could be deduced it belonged to the aircraft since there is only one missing Boeing 777.
“I think they are being cautious because they want to carry out every test that is available to ensure 100 per cent that it’s part of MH370,” Ms Bishop told the Seven Network on Friday.
“We believe that we can deduce it’s part of 370 because it’s already been confirmed it’s part of a Boeing 777.
“There is only one Boeing 777 unaccounted for at present. That’s MH370.”
Anguished family members have waited for news with a mix of anticipation and dread, and some said the first concrete proof of the plane’s fate would help bring closure.
But others who have consistently criticised Malaysia’s handling of the crisis refused to believe the wing part was from the plane.
Malaysia said earlier on Thursday that a wing part found on Reunion was from MH370, which went missing in March last year with 239 people, including six Australians, on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.