MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty
July 30, 2015 08:15 AM

The girlfriend of an American who was on board Malaysia Flight 370 has said that the potential discovery of a piece of the missing plane is bittersweet.

“I hope it isn’t [from the plane] because that means there’s still a thread of hope,” Sarah Bajc, whose boyfriend Philip Wood was on the aircraft when it went missing on March 8, 2014, told the Today show on Thursday morning.

She added: “But if it is, that might help us find the airplane.”

MH370 disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, en route to Beijing. The jet, which was carrying 239 people, was intentionally diverted from its flight path that night, officials said, flying off course for several hours before disappearing from radar entirely.

At the time, there was speculation that the plane had been hijacked, but that was never proven. In late March 2014, investigators concluded that the plane had ended up in the Indian Ocean – and that all of its passengers were likely dead.

On Wednesday morning, a ten-foot long fragment, which appears to be a flap from an aircraft, was discovered off the coast of Reunion island, a French territory east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Officials said Thursday morning that they are “almost certain” the piece comes from a Boeing 777, which is consistent with the design of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Reuters reports.

“It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride,” said Bajc, “but that’s been going on now for almost 18 months.”

And even if the fragment belongs to MH370, that won’t give her the closure she needs. “A part of a plane is not the same as a body,” she said. “True closure can only come for sure when you can say goodbye.”

But Bajc conceded, fighting back tears: “Some verification that the flight indeed crashed would be a step forward.”

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