Tags: malaysia airlines | flight mh370 | accident

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Disappearance Now an 'Accident' So Families Can Make Claims

By    |   Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:49 PM

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was officially ruled an "accident" on Thursday by the country's Department of Civil Aviation, a designation that allows family members of passengers on the the missing jet to make claims for damages, according to the Malaysia Chronicle.

Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, and while searches have been conducted in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, there has been no official sign of the plane.

Malaysian officials said while they have not ruled out foul play in their investigation, their designation Thursday was a legal matter to allow families to pursue compensation claims, according to the BBC News.

Voice 370, a support group made up of family members of those missing from the flight, said that it would not accept the accident declaration without physical evidence of the airliner's fate, noted the Malaysian Chronicle.

"After 327 days and based on all available data as well as circumstances mentioned earlier, survivability in the defined area is highly unlikely," Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the director-general of Malaysia's aviation department said, according to the Chronicle.

"It is therefore, 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 to the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," he said.

China's foreign ministry also pressured Malaysia to make some move where the families could start receiving compensation, noted the BBC News. Most of the passengers on the flight were from China.

"We call on the Malaysian side to honor the promise made when they declared the flight to have been lost and earnestly fulfill their compensation responsibilities," Chinese spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

"Ten months on, it is clear that the Malaysian government is struggling to rebuild trust with families of the victims," wrote Jennifer Pak for BBC News in Kuala Lumpur. "Many have refused to begin the compensation process, worrying that if they do then officials will stop searching for the plane.

"However, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai says the governments of Malaysia, China and Australia remain firmly committed to the ongoing search," Pak wrote.

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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was officially ruled an "accident" on Thursday by the country's Department of Civil Aviation, a designation that will allow family members of the missing jet to make claims for damages.
malaysia airlines, flight mh370, accident
Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:49 PM
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