Malaysia’s transport minister said Thursday that a Malaysian team in the French territory of Reunion Island had collected other plane debris, including a window and some aluminum foil.
But Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai says he cannot confirm they belong to Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.
“I can only ascertain that it’s plane debris,” Liow said.
Liow told reporters that, “there are many items collected,” from the Indian Ocean island where a wing part was found last week, which was confirmed earlier Thursday to be from Flight 370.
He said the new debris has been sent, “to the French authorities for verification. I cannot confirm that it’s from MH370.”
Liow said Malaysia has asked authorities in neighboring areas, including Mauritius and Madagascar, to help widen the search by combing their beaches for possible debris.
It has been more than a year since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared with 239 people aboard, and relatives are still seeking closure, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.
In a breakthrough in the long search for answers, a piece of a wing called a flaperon was found washed up on the French island of Reunion in the western Indian Ocean last week.
After initial examination in France by investigators from Europe, Malaysia, China and Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced early Thursday that the debris belonged to MH370. But some officials were less confident about the origin of the flaperon and stopped short of full confirmation, Doane reports.
“There is a very strong probability that that the flab found on the beach does belong to MH370,” Paris Deputy Prosecutory Serge Mackowiak said.
Australia’s deputy prime minister Warren Truss acknowledged the confusion.
“I’ve noted the comment from the Malaysian Prime Minister,” Truss said. “The French have made a somewhat more qualified comment.”
Frustrated and angry, relatives of the passengers gathered in protest outside the Malaysia Airlines office in Beijing on Thursday, Doane reports.
“Please tell us the truth,” demanded one relative, Zhang Meiling.
“This is definitely not an ending or closure,” said Jiang Hui, whose mother was on missing flight MH370.
Hui said he was diagnosed with depression and is physically and mentally exhausted thinking of what might have happened to his mother.
“It’s just a lead,” he said.