Thursday, January 29, 2015

MH370: Malaysia officially declares disappearance of plane an accident

Malaysia has called off the search for survivors of missing flight MH370 and declared the disappearance of the plane in March 2014 an accident.

A statement by authorities in Kuala Lumpur said the underwater search for the wreckage of the plane would continue.

The declaration by Malaysia’s government clears the way for families to seek compensation payments and for Malaysia Airlines to make insurance claims, but is a heavy blow to relatives who have lived in torment for 10 months without knowing the fate of their loved ones.

The plane, with 239 passengers and crew on board, was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when it went missing. There has since been no trace of the plane, despite a vast search operation.

Authorities had originally planned to make the announcement in a hastily scheduled afternoon news conference, but abruptly cancelled the briefing after distraught next-of-kin rushed to the venue. Instead, the televised announcement was made by the transport ministry at 6pm local time.

The Malaysian government’s handling of the crisis has been severely criticised by relatives of the missing passengers and crew.

Several next-of-kin, some holding placards calling for the return of their family members, arrived at the briefing location in the headquarters of the Department of Civil Aviation, furious about not being briefed before the news conference.

Read previous news on MH370



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