Possibly the greatest mystery of 2014 was the disappearance of MH370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.
Today the story came out that Malaysia has officially declared MH370 an accident. Via Reuters:
“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.
The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 in the International Civil Aviation, said Azharuddin. It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation, he said.
Malaysia Airlines was ready to proceed immediately with the compensation process to the next-of-kin of the passengers on the flight, he said.
A lot of the headlines I’ve seen about this today suggest that the search is over for MH370. I think it’s worth noting that the major implication here is that the families can finally be compensated for the accident, which is good news (not that you can ever be “made whole” for losing a loved one). Many families are distraught over the news, since naturally they wanted to hope for some miracle, unrealistic as it may be. At the same time, it would seem to me that it finally gives some closure.
In practice the search efforts will continue, not that there’s much hope at this point.
What a terribly sad situation all around. And how mysterious that in 2014 one of the most modern jetliners can literally disappear without a trace…