A LACK of physical evidence, particularly black box recorders, has hampered investigations into the MH370 disappearance, with authorities declaring it "an accident" on Friday.
After months of a multi-nation search for the aircraft that crashed into the Indian Ocean in March, Malaysian authorities officially declared the 239 on board dead.
While hopes of finding survivors from the crash were long since dashed, the declaration sparked a fresh round of grief and disappointment from families of passengers.
Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharrudin Adbul Rahman said the seven-nation search had "pursued every credible lead" but the search had not located the missing aircraft.
"After 327 days and based on all available data ... survivability in the defined area is unlikely," he said.
Mr Rahman said it was "with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow" that he declared the flight an "accident" in the absence of evidence, and those on board "presumed to have lost their lives".
Despite the declaration, a statement from the Australian Government said it remained "committed to the search".
The focus in Malaysia will now turn to compensation for the families of those on board the aircraft.
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