Planes and Helicopters are deployed in search of MH370

Planes, boats and helicopters are deployed to Reunion to expand the hunt for MH370 – as relatives of passengers stage a protest.

France is to launch new air, land and sea searches around Reunion Island to try and find more wreckage from MH370.

News of the deployment came as relatives of passengers aboard the flight staged a noisy and emotional protest in Beijing.

They shouted, chanted, and knelt on the ground crying, demanding more action from Malaysia and information about their missing loved ones.

Zhang Yonglin, whose daughter was on board the plane, said: “I’m not going to back down, this is the time and I have the determination, even a gun is to my head, I won’t back down one step.”

France said it was ramping up its search off the coast of the French-governed island after Malaysia confirmed a piece of wing debris was from MH370.

“We have decided to deploy additional aerial and maritime assets to search for potential new debris off Reunion Island,” France’s Defence Ministry said in a statement on its website.

The French decision came as Malaysia also appealed to the governments of Mauritius and Madagascar east of Reunion to help widen the search area.

However, the request to extend the original search area in the southern Indian Ocean is likely to meet with resistance in Australia.

The country has largely funded the search effort and is opposed to expanding expensive underwater searches without strong evidence.

The Boeing 777 disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese.

A piece of wing known as a flaperon was found on a Reunion beach last week.Gallery: Wing Debris Found On Remote Indian Ocean Island 'Wing debris'FRANCE-OVERSEAS-MALAYSIA-CHINA-AUSTRALIA-MH370-AVIATION-SEARCHMalaysia's PM Razak confirms debris found on Reunion Island is from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia'Wing debris'

Gallery: Wing Debris Found On Remote Indian Ocean Island

Yesterday, Malaysia said paint colour and a maintenance seal were matches for MH370, the first piece of direct evidence that it had crashed in the sea.

The barnacle-covered piece of wing debris was flown to mainland France for investigation.

Reunion is about 3,700 km (2,300 miles) west of the primary search area off the southwest coast of Australia.

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