Second object found in Réunion discounted as part of missing 777
Metal sheet with Chinese symbols aroused suspicion when found in general area
Police remove a case containing metallic debris found on a beach in Saint-Denis on Reunion Island, close to where where a Boeing 777 wing part believed to belong to missing flight MH370 washed up last week. Photograph: Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images
A second object which was found yesterday and thought at first to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 has been verified as a domestic ladder. It was found washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion.
The object, a metal sheet featuring Chinese symbols, was discovered by a passerby in Saint Denis, 25km from Saint-Andre, where the first piece of debris was found. Authorities immediately cordoned off the perimeter and the object was taken away for analysis.
However, some time later, the Malaysian director general of civil aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told a news service that the object, with Chinese writing on it was a ladder.
Local reports say that almost every piece of flotsam now washing up on the shore on Réunion is attracting scrutiny.
The first piece of debris believed to be from the missing Boeing 777, a 2m-long movable part on the trailing edge of the wing called a flaperon, was found on Wednesday.
It is undergoing analysis in Toulouse, France, to assess whether it is from the Malaysia Airlines plane, which went missing in March last year.
Malaysia Airlines said on Sunday that it had been confirmed as being from a 777 plane. The transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said: “We know the flaperon has been officially identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft.
“This has been verified by French authorities together with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the US National Transportation Safety Board and a Malaysian team comprising the department of civil aviation, Malaysia Airlines, and Malaysian ICAO annex 13 safety investigation team for MH370.”
Mr Liow also appealed for help from aviation authorities in territories in the vicinity of Reunion. “This is to allow the experts to conduct more substantive analysis should there be more debris coming on to land, providing us more clues to the missing aircraft,” he said.
Before the flaperon was discovered by beach cleaners, the search for the missing passenger plane had gone cold, despite a massive operation involving planes and ships from more than 20 countries scouring the Indian Ocean.
A church service was held at Cambuston church in Saint-Andre on Saturday in memory of the 239 people on board the flight.
More than 400 people attended the service at the church, which is close to the beach where the first piece of debris was discovered. – (Guardian service)