Asia-Pacific

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Missing Malaysia flight MH370: Lawsuits set to begin as death certificates are issued

Published 22/04/2014|11:51

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A father whose son was aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries as he asks a question during a briefing given by Malaysian representatives at Lido Hotel in Beijing April 21, 2014. A tropical cyclone was threatening to hamper the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean on Monday, as a submarine drone neared the end of its mission scouring the sea bed with still no sign of wreckage. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER)
A father whose son was aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries as he asks a question during a briefing given by Malaysian representatives at Lido Hotel in Beijing
Prayers are offered for passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. (AP)
Prayers are offered for passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. (AP)
Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield prepare to deploy the U.S. Navys Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this handout picture released by the Australian Defence Force April 15, 2014. A U.S. Navy underwater drone sent to search for a missing Malaysian jetliner on the floor of the Indian Ocean had its first mission cut short after exceeding its 4.5 km (2.8 mile) depth limit, Australian search authorities said on Tuesday.The launch of the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle on Monday marked a new phase in the six week search for Malaysia Airlines MH370 which disappeared on March 8 and is presumed to have crashed thousands of kilometres (miles) off course with the loss of all 239 people on board.   REUTERS/Australian Defence Force/Handout via Reuters  (MID-SEA - Tags: DISASTER MARITIME TRANSPORT SOCIETY MILITARY) 

ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield prepare to deploy the U.S. Navys Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in this handout picture released by the Australian Defence Force April 15, 2014. A U.S. Navy underwater drone sent to search for a missing Malaysian jetliner on the floor of the Indian Ocean had its first mission cut short after exceeding its 4.5 km (2.8 mile) depth limit, Australian search authorities said on Tuesday.The launch of the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle on Monday marked a new phase in the six week search for Malaysia Airlines MH370 which disappeared on March 8 and is presumed to have crashed thousands of kilometres (miles) off course with the loss of all 239 people on board. REUTERS/Australian Defence Force/Handout via Reuters (MID-SEA - Tags: DISASTER MARITIME TRANSPORT SOCIETY MILITARY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES

The families of passengers and crew aboard missing Flight MH370 will be issued with death certificates, in a move that could pave the way for potential lawsuits against the airline.

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Government officials met distressed relatives at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to discuss ways of providing them with financial assistance.

It will come as distressing news to some relatives who are clinging on to the hope the 239 people on-board the flight could be alive.

But it will allow them to receive financial aid and potentially start legal action against Malaysian Airlines.

Hamid Ramlan, whose daughter and son-in-law were aboard Flight MH370, told CNN that his wife “cannot accept” that the plane disappeared.

“She still believes that the plane was hijacked and she believes that my daughter is still alive,” he said.

Another expressed dissatisfaction with the meeting, telling CNN that “no meaningful report on the progress of the investigation was given”.

Hamzah Zainuddin, Malaysia’s deputy foreign affairs minister, is running a committee dedicated to looking after the needs of the next of kin.

He said: “We realise this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world”.

Authorities are currently scanning the seabed for signs of wreckage from the flight, which disappeared without trace while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The US Navy’s Bluefin-21, a remotely-controlled mini-submarine, is currently carrying out a complex underwater search using sonar for signs of the flight.

But last night the sub was nearing the end of its ninth search mission without any signs of the wreckage.

A tropical cyclone has also grounded planes that were due to fly across the Indian Ocean in search of wreckage.

 

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