Debris that is probably from a plane has washed up on Reunion island off the east coast of Africa, but it is premature to suggest that it might be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, a local official told Reuters on Wednesday.
"People are getting ahead of themselves over this," Eric Chesneau, an officer in the air transport police of the French Indian Ocean territory, said in response to speculation on social media. "It is more than likely plane debris, (but) we don't know what exact part it may be."
No trace has been found of the Boeing 777, which disappeared in March last year carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. Most of the passengers were Chinese.
Search efforts led by Australia have focused on a broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean.
Neither the French civil aviation authority DGAC nor the BEA, the agency responsible for investigating aviation accidents, were immediately available for comment.