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PARIS, March 09, /ITAR-TASS/. Missing airliner Boeing 777-200 of the Malaysian Airlines passed repair over right wing malfunction in 2012, aviation expert Bernard Chabbert said on French radio station Europe-1 on Saturday.
“In 2012 an incident occurred with the airliner at China’s Shanghai airport,” the French expert said. He noted that then the airliner collided at the airfield with another aircraft belonging to the Chinese Southern Airlines. “Large-scale repair was made on it, particularly some part of the right wing had to be replaced,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chabbert noted that this incident could not be directly linked with current incident. “However, it is important to know about the service life of the airliner and this incident makes integral part of it,” he noted.
The plane disappeared from radars about two hours after the take-off from the Malaysian capital at 02:40 local time (18:40 GMT on Friday), when the plane was over the South China Sea some 120 nautical miles from the city of Kota Bharu.
Four French citizens were among passengers. French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier notified the authorities in Vietnam and Malaysia that France was prepared to assist in the search for the missing airliner. Specialists from the French Investigation and Analyses Bureau for Civil Aviation Security are prepared to come for help to local rescue service.
Meanwhile, a Russian citizen was onboard either, the Russian embassy in Malaysia confirmed.