Mangled Suitcase Found Near Aircraft Debris

Australian newspapers are reporting the find amid speculation that these items came from the missing MH370 aircraft.

Australian newspapers in Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane have published photographs of a damaged suitcase that was found close to the location where part of a jetliner's wing was picked up this week, and a Perth woman whose husband was a passenger on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 told The West Australian that authorities told her she will be informed within 24 hours whether or not these items are from that aircraft.

Several vessels have conducted an extensive search of a large section of the southern Indian Ocean where the Boeing 777 aircraft was believed to have gone down after losing contact with air traffic control on March 8, 2014, and deviating from its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities officially declared the aircraft's disappearance an accident in January 2015, clearing the way for families to pursue compensation claims.

The wing section and suitcase were found on the French island of La Reunion, which is off the eastern coast of Madagascar.

"It is with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 of the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Department Civil Aviation Malysia and chairman of the MH370 High Level Technical Task Force, wrote in a January 2015 statement.

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