Unknown object 'likely' aircraft fire suppression bottle, claim experts

Ali Naafiz, Haveeru Online
Mar 26, 2014 - 07:35
  • The unknown object that was found washed up on Baarah beach.

The unknown object found in Baarah in Haa Alif Atoll of the Maldives is "very likely" to be a fire suppression bottle from an aircraft, local aviation experts said on Wednesday.

Residents of the island have assumed the object, which was found washed up at the beach on Monday, to be bomb or sea mine, but the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on Wednesday said it was not an explosive device. But the army did not specify the nature of the object.

An experienced local aircraft engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, told Haveeru that the object is "very likely" to be a fire suppression bottle from an aircraft.

"But I'll have to see it in person and cross check the part number on it. Then only I'll be able to say which type of aircraft it belongs to," the aircraft engineer said.

Two other aircraft engineers and a Maldivian pilot working at a foreign airline also said that the object was "likely" a fire suppression bottle from an aircraft. However, they also decline to arrive at a conclusion unless they see the object in person.

The news of the unidentified object, believed to be a fire suppression bottle from an aircraft, comes about a week after several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll claimed to have seen a "low flying jumbo jet" at around 6:15am on March 8 – the day of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The reported sighting of the missing aircraft over the Maldives led to a probe by Maldives police. But both the MNDF and Malaysian authorities have denied the reported sighting.

The Malaysia airlines jet disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Investigators say it was deliberately diverted off course.

Dozens of floating objects detected at sea provided fresh evidence Wednesday that the difficult search for flight MH370 debris was on course, as US lawyers fired the first salvo in an expected barrage of lawsuits on behalf of grieving families.

Malaysia said satellite images taken in recent days showed "122 potential objects" in the remote southern Indian Ocean, a discovery likely to energise an international effort to recover suspected debris from the missing plane that has been frustrated by stormy weather.

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