Malaysia to release interim report on Flight MH370

KUALA LUMPUR - More than ten months since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the Malaysian government is soon to release the findings of its investigation.

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told a press conference Wednesday that an interim report had been prepared and would be released March 7, the day before the first anniversary of the plane’s disappearance with 239 people aboard.

He refused to provide any details of the report, only revealing it would contain the conclusions of the technical investigation and those of international investigators from Britain, the U.S., China, France and Australia and aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Kaprawi would not comment on whether the plane would provide any more insight into what happened to the Beijing-bound airliner after it took off from Kuala Lumpur just after midnight on March 8 last year.

"‎I cannot reveal the details of the interim report but it will be on the investigation that has been carried out so far in search of the missing plane," he said. "We have not concluded on the status of the plane as the search is still ongoing."

A ministry source told The Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity that the report will focus on the legal status of the flight and whether Malaysia will declare it as lost.

Until the flight has been declared officially lost, the relatives of the flight’s passengers and crew cannot receive final compensation, the source said.

The Boeing 777 lost contact with air control an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Based on satellite data, the flight is believed to have deviated from its original course and crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

Despite a massive international search effort using high-technology equipment and expertise, no trace of the plane has been found.

The Australia-led Joint Action Coordination Center is conducting underwater searches across a 23,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometer) priority area in the Indian Ocean.

Australia has committed up to $84 million to finding the missing aircraft over a two-year period. Malaysia has described the figure as a "ceiling price."

Four ships, Fugro Equator, Fugro Discovery, Fugro Supporter and GO Phoenix, are leading the search.

Around a quarter of the sea floor within the search area has been covered and investigators hope to complete the priority search by May.

Malaysia Airline's crisis worsened on July 17 when Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Last month, another Southeast Asian jet, AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 crashed over the Java Sea, killing 162 people.

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