Malaysia’s government declared the crash of Flight 370 an accident to pave the way for compensation claims, angering victims’ families still waiting for evidence while officials said the search for wreckage will go on.
Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines jet, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people, “remains a priority”.
The plane is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, off the coast of western Australia. No debris has ever been found.
“After 327 days and based on all available data as well as circumstances ... survivability in the defined area is highly unlikely. It is therefore with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that we officially declare Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident,” he said in a pre-recorded message broadcast on Malaysian television.
All 239 passengers and crew on board are presumed to have lost their lives, he said. The declaration will help facilitate financial claims by families, and Malaysia Airlines is ready to proceed with the compensation process, he added.
Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said the announcement was agreed by the governments of Malaysia, China, and Australia to “enable the families to move forward”.
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