In a statement, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which was examining photos of the debris, said “the unidentified material found 10 kilometres east of Augusta, Western Australia is not associated with missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.”

ATSB commissioner Martin Dolan explained, “After careful and detailed examination by investigative experts, our assessment is that the material is highly unlikely to be related to MH370 and will not be used in the search for the missing aircraft.

“We also passed the photographs to the Malaysian authorities, who are leading the investigation.”

MH370 went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board and the hunt for its wreckage has so far been unsuccessful.

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