Thailand examines ‘aircraft debris’ stoking Malaysia jet conjecture

The Thai military is examining whether a chunk of metal debris washed up on a beach is from an aircraft, an official said Sunday, stirring local media speculation it may belong to missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
The large two meter (seven feet) by three meter curved piece of debris, was found by fishermen on Saturday on a beach in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the Gulf of Thailand, according to a local official.
Thai army aviation experts inspected the debris, took photographs and agreed it was likely to be from an aircraft — although further testing is needed to make an official confirmation, Thanyarat Phatikongphan, district chief of Pak Phanang, said.
"It is likely to be a part from the aircraft's nose because there are electronic wires, insulators on it," he said, adding numbers on the panels should help identification.
District police also said the panel was probably from an aircraft.
Although there is no official confirmation it is part of an aircraft, Thai media swiftly speculated that it may have come from flight MH370.
The Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
In July last year, a two-meter-long flaperon wing part washed up on a beach on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, several thousand kilometers south of Thailand.
Experts traced it to the ill-fated flight, marking the first concrete evidence that it met a tragic end.
Unlike Reunion, the Gulf of Thailand is not in the path of ocean currents from the remote area of the Indian Ocean where it is believed the plane went down.
Nothing has been found since the Reunion discovery, despite more than 80,000 square kilometers of the seafloor being searched.

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