After nearly 18 months of mystery, debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been found and verified.
The discovery on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean only slightly begins to illuminate the puzzling series of events that saw MH370, which was carrying 239 people, disappear in March 2014 without a trace.
Five facts about the mystery of the missing air craft.
1. The Boeing 777’s exceptional safety record
The plane model involved flew for 18 years without a fatal crash, until an incident at San Francisco airport in 2013.
During that time, only one other serious incident was reported, when a plane landed short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.
2. “All right, good night.”
Vietnamese officials initially claimed the final message from the cockpit was broadcast at 2:40 a.m, but revised that to 1:30 a.m, only 50 minutes after the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a six-hour flight to Beijing.
3. Potential debris offers initial hope
A French satellite found 122 objects across the Indian Ocean that they believed could be pieces of the plane.
The Chinese government also found floating debris just days after the disappearance, but they were later dismissed.
4. More than 12 countries, 40 ships and 30 aircraft involved
Within a few days, a a massive search operation was established, comprised of countries from across the globe using their land, sea and air tracking equipment and transportation to hunt for clues of the missing plane’s whereabouts.
5. Search operation spanning several oceans and seas
The search for the missing aircraft was defined by misinformation and frequent false flags at every turn.
Terrorism, pilot suicide and mechanical failure were all surmised to be the cause of the disappearance.
The search began in the South China Sea near Vietnam, before moving to the Malacca Strait, then out towards the Bay of Bengal and into the Indian Ocean.
In the first week alone, the search covered close to 100,000 square kilometres.
- With files from The Associated Press