A large piece of suspected plane wreckage has been found on a beach in southern Thailand, prompting speculation it might belong to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The large piece of curved metal washed ashore in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, according to a local official.
Villagers discovered the piece of metal, before reporting it to the authorities to help identify it, said Tanyapat Patthikongpan, head of Pak Phanang district. 'Villagers found the wreckage, measuring about 2metres wide and 3metres long (6.6 by 9.8 feet),' he said.
The find has sparked speculation in the Thai media that the debris could belong to MH370, which disappeared with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014.
There has been no official confirmation that the wreckage belongs to a plane. The barnacle-covered piece of metal has some identifying features, which should help narrow down whether or not it came from a plane. The number ‘323’ is printed near the ragged edge, as pointed out by the villagers. Elsewhere, the numbers ‘307’ and ‘308’ are printed.
On the reverse side of the shard, a red wire can be seen dangling, over what appears to be the serial number ‘SG5773-1’. According to Patthikongpan, local 'fishermen said it could have been under the sea for no more than a year, judging from barnacles on it'.
Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370's transponder before diverting it thousands of miles off course.