The Malaysian government has officially declared missing flight MH370 an accident.

In March the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when it went missing.

Despite an international search operation no traces of the aircraft were found.

The declaration by the Malaysian government should clear the way for compensation payments to relatives of the victims.

A statement by authorities in Kuala Lumpur said the search for survivors has been called off but an underwater search for the aircraft is continuing.

Malaysian officials added that the recovery of the missing aircraft remained a priority and that they have pursued “every credible lead”.

In June, the International Air Transport Association announced plans to establish an industry task force to develop recommendations to improve global flight tracking to ensure an aircraft never ‘simply disappears’ again.

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