Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disaster officially declared an accident

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disaster officially declared an accident The search for the wreckage of MH370 continues in the southern Indian Ocean

Officials in Malaysia have declared the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 an accident, confirming there were no survivors.

The decision is a technical step, with the search for the wreckage of the plane ongoing.

The aircraft, with 239 people on board, disappeared on March 8th 2014, with no trace located since. 

A massive international search, most recently focused on the southern Indian Ocean, has failed to find the aircraft.

The latest step means compensation can now be paid to the relatives of those killed in the disaster.

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Authorities in Malaysia had originally planned to make the announcement in an afternoon news conference.

However, this was abruptly cancelled after distraught next-of-kin rushed to the venue.

Instead, the televised announcement was made by the transport ministry at 18:00 local time.

Four vessels continued to search the sea floor where the plane is thought to have come down.

These employ specialised sonar technology in a remote stretch of ocean.