Almost a year after its disappearance on March 8th 2014 while en route from to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Government has tonight declared missing Boeing-777 MH370 an accident and stated definitively that there are no survivors.
According to a breaking report from the BBC, Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a televised announcement that a recovery operation using four ships is still ongoing, that they are following “every credible lead” and that the search remains a priority; however, the 239 people onboard the flight – including six Australians – are now presumed dead.
“We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident… and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives.The Government of Malaysia acknowledges that this declaration of MH370 accident will be very difficult for the families and loved ones of the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board to consider, much less accept. Thirteen nations have also lost sons and daughters to this tragedy. It is nonetheless important that families try to resume normal life or as normal a life as may be possible after this sudden loss.Without in any way intending to diminish the feelings of the families, it is hoped that this declaration will enable the families to obtain the assistance they need, in particular through the compensation process.”
The government’s declaration this evening reportedly also clears the way for families of the victims to seek compensation payments and for Malaysia Airlines to pursue insurance claims.
On Monday this week, the airline’s website was hacked by a group purportedly acting on behalf of the IS and Cyber Caliphate – their homepage replaced by a picture of a jet and a ‘404’ error message reading ‘Plane not found’.
Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images