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Suspected MH370 Wing to be Inspected   08/01 09:15

   Representatives of the world's media gathered Saturday outside a French 
defense site in Balma in southwestern France, awaiting the arrival of a piece 
of plane wing that could be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

   BALMA, France (AP) -- Representatives of the world's media gathered Saturday 
outside a French defense site in Balma in southwestern France, awaiting the 
arrival of a piece of plane wing that could be from the missing Malaysia 
Airlines Flight 370.

   The truck carrying the main debris left Orly, near Paris at 0520 GMT, for 
the government facility east of Toulouse, a 672-kilometer (416 mile) drive.

   French authorities have imposed extraordinary secrecy over the 2-meter 
(6-foot) long piece of wing, putting it under police protection in the hours 
before it left the island of Reunion en route to the French military site.

   Reporters were being kept outside the facility, where French aviation 
experts will try to establish whether wreckage was part of the Boeing 777 which 
disappeared March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

   Air safety investigators, including one from Boeing, have identified the 
component as a flaperon from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. 
official said. The official wasn't authorized to be publicly identified.

   Flight 370, which disappeared March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, is 
the only missing 777.

   Under a microscope and expert eyes, the wing fragment that washed up on the 
beach of the volcanic island could yield clues not just to its path through the 
Indian Ocean, but also to what happened to the airplane.

   Analysts at the French aviation laboratory hope to glean details from metal 
stress to see what caused the flap to break off, spot explosive or other 
chemical traces, and study the sea life that made its home on the wing to 
pinpoint where it came from.

   Even if the piece is confirmed to be the first confirmed wreckage from 
Flight 370, there's no guarantee that investigators can find the plane's vital 
black box recorders or other debris. A multinational search effort has so far 
come up empty.


(KA)


 
 
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