Business Standard

Beach cleaner may have solved MH370 mystery

IANS  |  Paris 

A beach cleaner from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean stumbled upon wreckage which might be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, one of aviation's biggest mysteries, a media report said.

Johnny Begue was strolling along the beach on Wednesday looking for a pebble to grind chillies when he suddenly discovered a "weird thing on the shore", the Daily Mail reported.

The 6ft-long wing flap, which experts believe comes from a Boeing 777 like the Malaysian Airlines plane, was half covered in sand and had barnacles encrusted on its edges.

"It was then that I saw a weird thing on the shore," said Begue, who called his colleagues over to check it out.

Begue leads a team of eight people charged with cleaning the coastline and a popular fitness trail in the town of Saint-Andre on the east of the French island of Reunion.

He and his colleagues dragged it further inland to avoid it being swept away by the sea and then made the connection to MH370 after Googling 'plane disasters'.

They then decided to alert police.

"Then a colleague went online with his cellphone and searched for information on plane accidents and found the Malaysian story," Begue said.

"I didn't know that by going to find a pestle to crush my chillies I would become famous," said Begue.

The developments, some 3,500 miles from the doomed jet's last known location, have fuelled hopes across the globe that one of aviation's greatest mysteries could move closer to finally being solved.

The MH370 en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, mysteriously vanished from radars on March 8 last year with 239 people on board.

Inspite of widespread multinational search operations, nothing has been found of the aircraft till now.

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First Published: Fri, July 31 2015. 19:46 IST