August 17, 2015 / 4:58 PM / in 2 years

Reunion police and army halt MH370 debris search

SAINT-DENIS, Reunion (Reuters) - The police and army on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion have called off their search for more debris from the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which vanished last year, police said on Monday.

French gendarmes and police inspect a large piece of plane debris which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zinfos974/Prisca Bigot

A piece of wing was found on the shore of the French-governed island last month and Malaysian authorities have said paint color and maintenance-record matches proved it came from the missing Boeing BA.N 777 aircraft.

Ten days of searching involving an army plane, two helicopters and a police speedboat have not found any more wreckage. Washed-up objects including water bottles have been passed on to investigators in case they can be linked to the plane, police said.

“The statistical chances of discovering debris from the MH370 during coordinated searches appear to be extremely small,” Reunion police said, adding that they would continue to be vigilant.

The piece of wing, known as a flaperon, was the first real clue in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.

The plane disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said 10 days ago that investigators on Reunion had collected more aircraft debris, including a plane window and aluminum foil, but there was no confirmation they belonged to the missing plane.

Reporting by Bernard Grollier; Editing by James Regan and Digby Lidstone

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