The debris is the first piece of physical evidence recovered from the ill-fated plane, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 along with its 239 passengers and crew.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you, an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion is indeed from MH370,” Prime Minister Najib Razak said at a brief press conference. “We now have physical evidence that … Flight MH370 tragically ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
An environmental worker discovered the debris -– identified as a “flaperon,” a Boeing 777 wing segment -– on a beach on Reunion Island last week. The barnacle-crusted flaperon was later transported to Toulouse, France for further investigation.
Investigators are hoping the part can provide some clues about the jet’s final moments.
Some experts have postulated that the damage suggests the flaperon may have been deployed when the plane hit the water, meaning that someone in the cockpit was consciously manipulating the controls.