The government of Malaysia has now officially declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident.
The aircraft is thought to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, but search crews haven’t found a trace of it.
“The declaration on Thursday should allow compensation payments to relatives of the victims. Malaysian officials added that the recovery of the missing aircraft remained a priority and that they have pursued ‘every credible lead’.
“Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director-General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that it was ‘with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that we officially declare Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident.’
” ‘All 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,’ he said.”
Reuters adds that Malaysia is still conducting a criminal investigation, but that is problematic because investigators have no physical evidence.
“Therefore, at this juncture, there is no evidence to substantiate any speculations as to the cause of the accident,” Azharuddin said.
He added that with the help of China and Australia, crews will continue to scour the Indian Ocean in search for the missing jetliner.