TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Malaysian government has officially declared the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 as an accident. The official statement clears the path for the airline to pay compensation to victims' family while the search for the plane continues.
"We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident ... and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement on Thursday, January 29, 2015.
The announcement is in accordance with the standard regulation of annexes 12 and 13 in the International Civil Aviation, said Azharuddin. It will allow families of the passengers to receive the compensation, he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry requested Malaysia to immediately issue the compensation. "We hope the Malaysian side honors its promises and fully investigates the incident, settling claims and making peace with the families, especially continuing to make all efforts to find the missing plane and its passengers," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement on Thursday.
The majority of the passengers or about 154 people were Chinese citizens, while seven among them were Indonesians.
REUTERS | NATALIA SANTI