Beijing, Aug 6 (IANS) Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed Thursday that the debris discovered on Reunion Island belongs to MH370, the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane that went missing on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
Prior to discovering the debris on the French overseas island in the Indian Ocean, a massive surface and underwater hunt had failed to find the plane, making it one of the biggest mysteries in the aviation history, Xinhua reported.
Brief chronology of the search:
Aug 6, 2015: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirs that the debris found on Reunion Island is of MH370, citing a joint conclusion by an international investigation team that involved experts from Australia, China, France and Malaysia
Aug 5: Investigators and experts arrive at a military laboratory in Toulouse to analyse the probable missing MH370 wreckage
Aug 4: A piece of plastic debris found on the coast of Reunion Island
Aug 2: Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai confirms that the flaperon discovered on Reunion Island has been identified as being part of a Boeing 777 aircraft
Aug 1: Debris suspected to be part of MH370 arrives in Paris and is transferred to Toulouse for further analysis
July 31: A number on the piece of debris found on Reunion Island confirms that the plane is a Boeing 777, the same type as MH370
July 29: Aircraft wreckage is found on Reunion Island, which experts believe could be that of the missing MH370
April 10, 2014: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the search area for the missing MH370 has been narrowed to a grid of 40 km by 50 km in the southern Indian Ocean, after the Australian navy vessel Ocean Shield detected signals believed to be from the plane’s black box
March 24: Malaysia announces that new analysis of satellite data suggests MH370 “ends” in the southern Indian Ocean and Malaysia Airlines tells relatives of the passengers the plane has been “lost” and “none of those on board survived”
The US Pacific Command orders the Pacific Fleet to move a black box locator into the region in case debris is located
March 19: China shifts its search focus from the South China Sea to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia, covering an area of 300,000 square kilometres
Malaysia says background checks on almost all passengers and crew produced no “information of significance”
March 18: China announces that nine vessels would sail from Singapore to waters south-east of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia
China says it had deployed 21 satellites to search for the missing jetliner
Background checks on all passengers from the Chinese mainland on board the flight find no evidence of links to sabotage or terrorism
March 17: Malaysian officials confirm “All right, good night”, spoken by the co-pilot, were the last words from the missing plane
Twenty-six countries involved in search mission.
March 16: Twenty-five countries involved in the search and rescue operation
Malaysian police retrieve the flight simulator of the pilot. Malaysian Airlines said the pilot and co-pilot did not request to fly together, dismissing speculation of a pre-planned hijack attempt
March 15: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the disappearance of the missing jet was deliberate. Authorities refocus their investigation into MH370’s crew and passengers.
March 12: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency movs its search and rescue teams to the Andaman Sea to the south of Thailand
Vietnam officials say the missing jetliner seemed unlikely to have fallen in waters off Vietnam
March 11: Five Chinese vessels arrive at waters of MH370’s last known location
Dozens of ships and planes from about 10 countries and regions scour the waters, but no solid clues found
The multi-national search mission extends to land, with the focus on the Strait of Malacca
March 10: China works out a search plan involving four patrol and rescue vessels, two naval warships and adjusts high-resolution satellites to help with the search
A 13-member working group sent by the Chinese government arrives in Kuala Lumpur
March 9: Chinese rescue vessels arrive at search site
Nine nations join the hunt for the missing plane but no significant discoveries reported
March 8: Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 with 239 people onboard, including 154 Chinese, loses contact with the ground when it is believed to be in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area.
Vietnam launches search operation in its waters where the plane was presumed to have crashed, while Malaysia, China, Singapore, the Philippines and the US all dispatched rescue vessels and aircraft to search for the missing jet