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Malaysia says MH370 crash an accident, to clear compensation

January 29, 2015 04:38 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 10:46 am IST - KUALA LUMPUR

Kelly, 29, wife of a passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, holds a picture of her husband walking with Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, at a news conference in Putrajaya on Thursday. Relatives of MH370 passengers arrived uninvited at a news conference, which was later cancelled.

Kelly, 29, wife of a passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, holds a picture of her husband walking with Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, at a news conference in Putrajaya on Thursday. Relatives of MH370 passengers arrived uninvited at a news conference, which was later cancelled.

Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday officially declared the crash of Flight 370 an accident, fulfilling a legal obligation that will allow efforts to proceed with compensation claims.

Malaysia civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared on March 8, 2014, on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, “remains a priority”.

“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, adding that all 239 passengers and crew on board are presumed to have lost their lives.

Mr. Azharuddin said that Malaysia, China and Australia had spared no expense and resources in their search for the plane, presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia. The hunt resumed in October after a four-month hiatus with more sophisticated sonar equipment.

Mr. Azharuddin said the searchers pursued every credible lead and reviewed all available data that tracked the plane to a remote corner of the southern Indian Ocean, but were still unable to locate it.

“It also states that ‘an aircraft is considered to be missing when the official search has been terminated and the wreckage has not been located.’”

Mr. Azharuddin said the investigation by the safety team and Malaysian police were ongoing, but both were limited by the lack of physical evidence at this time, particularly the flight recorders.

“At this juncture, there is no evidence to substantiate any speculations as to the cause of the accident,” he said, adding that an interim report detailing the progress of the safety investigation will be released soon.

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