Kuala Lumpur, Jan 29:
The Malaysian government has officially declared that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 met with an accident March 8 last year, and all 239 people on board the plane are presumed dead.
The announcement was made by Director General of Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman Thursday.
Neither the wreckage of the aircraft nor the bodies of those on board have been found yet.
“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… and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,” Xinhua news agency quoted Azharuddin as saying in a statement.
After 327 days — as of Jan 28, 2015 — and based on all available data as well as circumstances mentioned earlier, survivability in the defined area where the plane was located was highly unlikely, the statement said.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 239 passengers and crew on aboard, disappeared on March 8 last year 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced that the ill-fated plane had “ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” following analysis of data released by British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat.
Search teams continue combing an area spanning 60,000 sq km in the southern Indian Ocean along an arc stretching from the west coast of Australia. IANS