A piece of the long-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been discovered on the island of Réunion, officials confirm, putting to rest a mystery that started back in March 2014.
MH370 went missing on March 8 of last year, and no trace of it was found until the flaperon, a part of the Boeing 777's wing, was recovered last week. This marks the conclusion of months and months of failed search missions and wild speculation of what happened to the missing plane.
Experts were fairly confident that the flaperon belonged to MH370, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said today that experts "conclusively confirmed" this is the case. He said in a press conference that "the burden and uncertainty faced by the families" since the plane vanished was "unspeakable."
Last week, CNN reported that a group of independent observers has already begun theorizing on what happened to MH370 based on the condition and location of the flaperon:
The rear damage could have been caused if the airliner had its flaperon down as it went into the ocean, some members of Exner's group wrote in a preliminary assessment after looking at photos and videos of the component. But the lack of damage to the front makes it more likely the plane was in a high-speed, steep, spiral descent and the part fluttered until it broke off, the group said.
Razak said that "the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened."
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.