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Friday, June 10, 2016

MH370: More debris found off Australia and Madagascar

(CNN)Investigators will examine multiple pieces of debris found off Madagascar and Australia to see if they belong to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Three pieces were found by American lawyer Blaine Gibson on the island of Nosy Boraha, off the east coast of Madagascar.

Another was found Thursday by Samuel Armstrong amid seawood and wood on Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, CNN affiliate Seven News reported.

The Joint Agency Coordination Center, the agency in charge of coordinating the search for MH370, said in a statement that it "is aware of these reports" that possible debris had been found.

Debris off Madagascar

Gibson had been filming with public television channel France 2 when he and the crew came across what appear to be pieces of the Boeing 777 which disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board.

Earlier this year, Gibson found a piece of a plane wreckage off the Mozambique Coast, while on a self-funded hunt for the missing plane. Australian investigators later said it "almost certainly" came from MH370.

The largest piece of new debris measures approximately 50 centimeters by 77 centimeters. Gibson said it "greatly resembles the 'No Step' panel I found in Mozambique, but (it) had no writing on it."

The piece has a row of pin holes and is made from plastic fiberglass composite, he said.

Gibson believes another piece he found is a frame of a screen monitor from the back of a plane seat. He said there are three small barnacles on the back of it, which could provide clues to investigators as to the time it's been in the sea and the route it traveled.

Search to end soon

Flight MH370 disappeared from radar while en route from Malaysia to Beijing. A search in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of kilometers off the west coast of Australia, has failed to find any trace of the plane.

Search operations have been suspended for the past four weeks because of poor weather conditions, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said.

"It may take until around August to complete the 120,000 square kilometers, but this will be influenced by weather conditions over the coming months, which may worsen," it said.

No more official efforts to find MH370 are planned if the plane does not turn up in that search zone.

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