A South African man has found what may be a piece of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and authorities will examine the debris to determine its origin.
Archeologist Neels Kruger said he was walking a beach near the town of Mosselbay when he saw the unusual object laying in his path.
Kruger said he recognized the honeycomb structure of the debris from photos he had seen of previously discovered plane fragments and thought they were similar.
Kruger described the debris as a 70-by-70 centimeter piece of metal with a portion of the Rolls Royce logo emblazoned on it. Rolls Royce, a British company, makes airplane engines.
He took a picture of the debris and sent it to authorities in Australia who are investigating the plane’s disappearance.
“When I flipped it around, I didn’t know immediately what it was but just thought, ‘Oh my word!” Kruger told the Associated Press.
FILE - Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong Lai(C) speaks at a news conference about debris found on a beach in Mozambique that may be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 3, 2016.
In a statement, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said “there is a possibility” the piece of debris came from an aircraft engine, but “further examination and analysis are required to verify if the debris came from MH-370.”
Liow said a team will be dispatched to retrieve the debris.
Kruger said investigators with the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau told him the piece was “very interesting,” but would not confirm that it was a piece of the missing plane. The investigators told Kruger to secure the debris with bubble wrap until the investigators come to retrieve it. Australian authorities are leading the investigation.
The plane was travelling from Kula Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 when it went off-course and mysteriously vanished. Authorities are still unsure about what happened to the plane and the 239 passengers onboard, but it is believed to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.
In July 2015, a piece of one of the plane’s wings was found on the beach of an island off the coast of Madagascar. Two more potential pieces of debris from the wreckage were found recently by a teenager in Mozambique.