France confirms wing part is from flight MH370

French prosecutors confirmed on Thursday that a piece of debris found on the Indian island of Réunion was from the Malaysian airlines flight MH370.

France confirms wing part is from flight MH370
A policeman and a gendarme stand next to the piece of debris on Réunion island. Photo: AFP
French prosecutors confirmed that the wing part was from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a month after tests on the flaperon began.
“It is possible today to say with certainty that the flaperon discovered on Reunion island on July 29 came from flight MH370,” Paris prosecutors said in a statement, confirming claims made by Malaysia's prime minister early last month.
In the statement on Thursday, prosecutors said investigators discovered three numbers on the wing part, and later concluded that one of the figures corresponded to the serial number of an MH370 flaperon.
French authorities had initially been more cautious about confirming that the piece was from the missing aircraft, only stating at the time that there was a “very high probability” it came from the plane.

(The wreckage on the island of Réunion. Photo: BFM TV/screengrab) 

The find raised hopes of finally solving the mystery of what happened to the plane, prompting investigators to search a maritime surface of 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 square miles) and scour the island's eastern coastline.

But the searches did “not led to the identification of anything that could have a link with a plane,” the French state's representative on the island, Dominique Sorain, said last month after calling off the search. 

(A closer look at the “flaperon” on a Boeing 777. Photo: WikiCommons)
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Réunion island mops up after deadly cyclone

Cyclone Bejisa hammered parts of the French island of Réunion on Thursday night, claiming at least one life, leaving 15 injured, and cutting off water and electricity for hundreds of thousands.

Réunion island mops up after deadly cyclone
Residents of the French island of Réunion struggle to make it through the streets amid Cyclone Bejisa's 150-kmh winds on Thursday. Photo: Richard Bouhet/AFP

One person died and 15 were injured after a cyclone packing winds of 150 kilometres (95 miles) an hour passed over the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion, officials said on Friday.

A red alert asking residents to remain indoors was lifted on Friday.

But the cyclone caused widespread damage uprooting trees, damaging and flooding dozens of homes and severing power and water supplies (see video below).

The sole death from Thursday's cyclone Bejisa was an elderly person found outdoors, La Réunion's top government official Jean-Luc Marx said. The mayor of the town of Saint Leu, however, told French TV TF1 that there had in fact been "at least two deaths."

Two of the 15 injured were in serious condition after falling from a roof and a ladder while trying to secure their homes, local officials said.

State-run power firm EDF said downed lines cut electricity to about 172,000 households.

Around 200,000 people – roughly a quarter of the island's population – had water cut to their homes.

The eye of Cyclone Bejisa passed within 15 kilometres (10 miles) of the western side of Réunion.