MH370 Investigators Cast Doubt on Catastrophic Fire Evidence

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -
A photograph of debris thought to be from the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane is seen in this handout picture taken on February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Blaine Gibson/Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. MANDATORY CREDIT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A photograph of debris thought to be from the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane is seen in this handout picture taken on February 28, 2016. (Reuters/Blaine Gibson/Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Handout via Reuters)

Accident investigators have cast doubt on the possibility that blackened debris found on Madagascar is evidence of a catastrophic fire aboard the missing Malaysian airliner.

Wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson hand-delivered five pieces of debris last week to officials at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau who are searching for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

The bureau said in a statement Thursday that investigators had yet to determine whether the pieces were from the Boeing 777 that is thought to have plunged into the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia in 2014.

But a preliminary examination found that two fiberglass-honeycomb pieces were not burnt, but had been discolored by a reaction in resin that had not been caused by exposure to fire or heat.