French gendarmes and police stand on the beach where a large piece of plane debris was found in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zinfos974/Prisca Bigot
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Authorities hunting for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said Friday they were "increasingly confident" that wreckage found on an Indian Ocean island was from the ill-fated jet, raising hopes of solving one of aviation's great mysteries.The two-meter (six-foot) long piece of wreckage is to be sent to France for analysis, with hopes high that it could turn out to be the first tangible proof the plane went down in the Indian Ocean. Investigators are hoping they will be able to move closer to solving the perplexing mystery swirling around the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which vanished without a trace 16 months ago with 239 people aboard. Several experts believe the debris is a Boeing 777 flaperon, a wing part, and that if it is confirmed it almost certainly belonged to the Malaysia Airlines plane, whose disappearance became one of aviation's greatest mysteries.The debris washed up on the French island of La Reunion, some 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) from the oceanic region where MH370 was thought to have gone down in March last year.
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