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Debris found on Australia’s Kangaroo Island is not from a Boeing plane, investigators searching for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said Wednesday.
The piece bears the words “NO STEP” but Boeing advised experts it was not consistent with one of its planes.
“As such, the [Australia Transport Safety Bureau] has assessed that the item is not related to … the search for MH370,” the agency said in a routine update.
The fragment was found earlier this month on the island, which is located off the coast of South Australia near Adelaide.
At the time, local resident Samuel Armstrong told how he just "stumbled across a piece of what I thought to be aircraft.”
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Several pieces of the missing Boeing 777 have washed up over the past year on coastlines around the Indian Ocean. But officials have had no luck finding the main underwater wreckage despite an extensive search of a vast area of the sea off Australia's west coast.
Crews are expected to complete their sweep of the 46,000 square mile area “July or August” and there are no plans to extend the hunt.
In May, the ATSB said a piece of engine cowling found in South Africa and an interior panel piece from an aircraft cabin found on Rodrigues Island off Mauritius were almost certainly from MH370. Those parts were the fourth and fifth confirmed pieces of the plane that have been recovered since it disappeared Mach 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
American adventurer Blaine Gibson, 56, said Monday he has found washed-up personal belongings on a beach in Mozambique where he previously discovered three potential parts of the jet. The ATSB is arranging to inspect the items.
The first recovered piece of the Boeing 777 washed up on the French island of Reunion in July 2015. Malaysia and French authorities confirmed the flaperon was from the aircraft.
Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane's transponder before diverting it thousands of miles off course, out over the Indian Ocean.