DCA yet to pick up MH370-related debris

Blaine GibsonKUALA LUMPUR: American wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson said that Malaysian authorities have yet to pick up six pieces of what is believed to be MH370-related debris that he found in Madagascar. He told the Guardian that they have been languishing for three months in storage.

He believes the debris are from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. It disappeared on 8 March 2014 with 239 passengers during a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

On Monday, Gibson flew to Canberra with five other pieces he found.

“I brought them myself this time because the Madagascar authorities have been waiting for months for the other pieces to be picked up,” he told the Guardian in Sydney, Australia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is coordinating the search for MH370, said it was in consultation with Malaysian authorities on how to proceed with the five pieces.

The Guardian also quoted Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the Director-General of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA), on the six pieces.

Azharuddin said in a statement that his Department was in contact with the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, on the six pieces. The High Commission is expected to courier the pieces to Malaysia.

The DCA will then decide whether to send them to ATSB in Canberra for further analysis. “We wish to urge all parties to allow the experts to conduct the verification processes,” added the statement.

The statement claimed the DCA was in constant contact with the authorities concerned as more debris turned up on shores.

Gibson said that he doesn’t want to be too critical of the Malaysian authorities “if they are fixing the problem”.

“I will believe it when it happens,” he said. “There seems to be some reaction from Malaysia. There is some movement.”

Earlier, in July, he appealed to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in a Facebook posting.

“I found some pieces of your plane a month ago. Please send your people to pick them up and investigate,” he wrote. “If they don’t, let’s request ATSB and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to please do it.”

ATSB has already confirmed that a large item of debris found on the island of Pemba, off the coast of Tanzania, on June 20 this year, originated from Malaysia Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO.

It was the inboard section of a Boeing 777 right, an outboard flap.

ATSB has dubbed the debris as Part No. 5, according to an update on Thursday.

The latest update follows the identification of Part numbers 1 through 4, the outcomes released by the ATSB in Updates 1 and 2, available on its website.