Malaysia Declares Flight 370 Disappearance an Accident

The 239 passengers and crew on board have been declared dead, but the recovery operation continues.

Malaysian authorities have officially declared the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for families to pursue compensation claims.

Several vessels continue to search a large section of the southern Indiana Ocean where the Boeing 777 aircraft is believed to have gone down after losing contact with air traffic control on March 8, 2014, and deviating from its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

"It is with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 of the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Department Civil Aviation Malysia and chairman of the MH370 High Level Technical Task Force, wrote in a statement.

"This declaration is by no means an end," he wrote, adding that, "at this juncture, there is no evidence to substantiate any speculations as to the cause of the accident."

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