Irene and George Burrows
Irene and George Burrows

Plane debris on French island offers family glimmer of hope

IT COULD be the clue that Irene Burrows has been waiting 16 months for.

The discovery of plane debris on a faraway island could help pinpoint the final resting place of her son Rodney and his wife Mary.

Rodney and Mary were among the 239 people on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished en route to Beijing on March 8 last year.

Irene yesterday said the discovery on Wednesday of the debris, washed up on Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, was the first real positive for the family.

MORE: Wreckage thought to be MH370 sent to France for analysis

But she was reluctant to get "too excited" and admitted the find had resurrected painful memories.

"I always wanted the plane to be found so I suppose that part of my wish might be happening," she said from her Biloela home.

Police guard the unidentified plane wreckage.
Police guard the unidentified plane wreckage.

"It's the only thing we have had that has been anyway hopeful... but nothing is definite yet, of course.

"We've had our hopes up before and they've been dashed but this looks likely.

"We were all starting to get our lives back into some sort of normality then something like this happens and brings it all back... It's almost as though it's just happened," she said, her voice wavering.

Irene said experts had always maintained that if any debris from MH370 was found, it would be on the African shore or on the Indonesian beaches because of the movement of currents.

"I never knew much about it before but I have learnt so much about this Indian Ocean; it is so big and so deep," she said.

Irene said the family would have to play the waiting game again as experts worked to identify the wreckage.

But if it proved to be from MH370, Irene said she could finally rest a little easier.

"I don't think there will ever be closure for us but at least we will have a fair idea where they are. That always been the hard part... not knowing where they are.

"That's what we're hoping for now, that the next few days might finally give us something."