A Look Back At The Long And Difficult Search For MH370

It may be the first sign of the flight, but many questions remain.

After an international search spanning 17 months, Malaysia said on Wednesday that the first piece of debris from missing flight MH370 had been found.

The Malaysia Airlines plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014. International search teams scoured the Indian Ocean for any sight of the plane for months without success.

Last week, a wing piece, known as a flaperon, washed up on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and was taken to France for analysis. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday that an international team of experts had concluded that it belonged to the plane, although French authorities were more cautious, saying further analysis was need. 

It may be the first sign of the flight, but many questions remain and the search continues. Experts warn it may prove difficult to locate the entire wreck of the plane.

“We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement Wednesday.

Look back at the key events in the search for MH370 in the timeline below. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the timeline placed one event a year too late. The timeline has been modified to reflect that Australia announced on April 7, 2014 that a vessel had detected two ‘pings’ in the Indian Ocean.