Malaysia said it will send a team of investigators Monday to inspect debris found on the southern coast of Thailand for a possible link to the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished almost two years ago. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Sunday that Thai authorities had invited his investigators after a large piece of white, curved metal was found by a fisherman in Thailand’s Nakhon Si Thammarat province. “I urge everyone not to speculate on the wreckage found in Thailand,” he said in a tweet Sunday. “Let’s wait for the experts to verify details.”
Flight MH370 disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 8, 2014, bound for Beijing with 239 people aboard. Months of aerial and sea searches over thousands of square miles of the southern Indian Ocean turned up no trace of the plane.
In July 2015, a piece of a wing was found off the coast of the French island of Reunion. A week later Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed it was from the doomed plane after French analysts matched the plane parts. Reunion is more than 3,000 miles southwest of the site of the Thai find.
The location of the debris in Thailand “would appear to be inconsistent with the drift models” determined by the Reunion find, Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor at Flightglobal, told Reuters. Waldron told the wire service the debris more likely came from a rocket or other aerospace equipment. Thailand’s The Nation, however, reported that the serial number found on the debris indicated it belonged to a Boeing 777, the same model as MH370, but that it was unclear whether it is the same aircraft.