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'MH370 debris' to be examined in Canberra

Pieces of debris that could be linked to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and  washed up on the Mozambique coast have arrived in Canberra for analysis.

Specialists in the ACT say tests for marine growth on the possible aircraft debris might hold "valuable information" that could shed light on the plane's mysterious disappearance two years ago. 

The only confirmed piece of debris from flight MH370 washed up on Reunion Island in July 2015.
The only confirmed piece of debris from flight MH370 washed up on Reunion Island in July 2015. 

Investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as staff from Geoscience Australia, the Australian National University and Boeing will this week examine two items which arrived in Canberra on Sunday. 

The Beijing-bound Boeing 777 veered off its planned route from Kuala Lumpur and vanished shortly after midnight on March 8, 2014.

A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, similar to the aircraft that vanished on March 8, 2014.
A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, similar to the aircraft that vanished on March 8, 2014. Photo: Supplied

It had 239 passengers and crew on board, including six Australians. 

Malaysian officials accompanied the two pieces of debris to the ACT, where they have been stored in quarantine-approved facilities at Geoscience Australia. 

A Geoscience Australia spokesman said staff carried out biological analyses on possible marine growth on the two debris pieces.

"The analyses sought to identify any macrofauna species attached to the debris," the spokesman said. 

"If the debris is ultimately found to be part of missing aircraft, the fauna analysis could provide valuable information in the search for MH370."

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman said while both pieces of debris appeared to be external components of an aircraft, experts could not say exactly which parts they were until the tests were completed.

He said Geoscience Australia specialists would focus on biological material found on the debris and the university staff would carry out X-ray examination. 

The Malaysian and Australian investigators would then assess all the information and determine what could be learnt from the debris.

Transport Minister Darren Chester said the possible plane pieces were "items of interest" but he wouldn't speculate on how long it might take for investigators to reach any conclusions due to the "rigorous analysis" required.

"I would like to assure the loved ones of those on board the aircraft, and the wider travelling community, that the examination will be thorough and undertaken by an experienced international investigation team."

The results of the tests will eventually be released through the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre – Australia's lead agency in the search for the missing flight. 

Investigators previously concluded a wing part found washed up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean last July, almost 5000 kilometres from the plane's last location, was most likely from the missing aircraft. 

It was the first trace of the doomed flight, which is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.