- Malaysia declared on Thursday the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims’ relatives while the search for the plane goes on.
- 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.”
- He said that Chapter 1 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly referred to as the “Chicago Convention,” states that the definition of the term “accident” includes “the aircraft is missing”.
- 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 flight disappeared on 8 March last year. All 239 passengers and crew on board the flight are presumed to have lost their lives.
- Authorities are still probing the incident but both safety and criminal investigations are limited by the lack of physical evidence, particularly the flight recorders, Mr. Azharuddin said.
- “An interim statement detailing the progress of the safety investigation is expected to be released on or around the one year anniversary of the accident,” he added.
- China called on Malaysia to compensate families.
- “We call on the Malaysian side to honour the promise made when they declared the flight to have been lost and earnestly fulfil their compensation responsibilities,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
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