A fragment believed to have come from inside the cabin of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found on an island in Mauritius, east of Africa.
MH370 Independent Group expert Don Thompson saw photographs of the part and said it appeared to match the bulkhead of an MAS Boeing 777 business class cabin.
The decorative finish on the piece, however, was not limited to that section of a B777 and could also have come from economy class, Mr Thompson told news.com.au.
Fellow IG member Mike Exner agreed with the assessment and the group this morning passed on the information to the Australian Tranport Safety Bureau (ATSB) who is understood to be excited by the find.
Possible #MH370 debris found by guests visiting Rodrigues Island, hotel employee says.
Credit: Mourouk Ebony Hotel pic.twitter.com/N0bfbfdLnc— David Molko (@davidmolkoCNN) April 2, 2016
The object, if proven to have come from the missing plane, is hugely significant because it is the first possible internal fragment to have been found. The piece is also likely to shed more light on the manner in which the aircraft entered the water.
A couple holidaying on Rodrigues Island (a small volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mauritius) found the wreckage as they were walking along the beach at Var-Brûlé between Mourouk and Gravel, on Thursday.
Jean Dominique and Suzy Vitry, who live on nearby La Reunion where a flaperon confirmed to have come from the plane was found last July, immediately suspected they had found another piece of MH370, reports Reunion website Clicanoo.
They took the piece back to their hotel, the Mourouk Ebony, and gave it to management for safekeeping while a report was made to the River Coco Police Station.
It is not clear how big the fragment is but Clicanoo quoted a senior hotel staff member as having described it as "tens of centimetres". A small cluster of barnacles are visible on the piece.
Photographs of the fragment have been posted to the hotel's Facebook page.
The ATSB recently confirmed that two pieces of debris found in Mozambique last month, including Blaine Gibson's "NO STEP" part and the outboard wing flap found by South African teenager Liam Lotter, were "highly likely" to have come from MH370.