The Malaysian government has officially declared Malaysia Airlines MH370 lost. The flight vanished without trace after it took off March 8, 2014, for a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No evidence of the plane or the 239 people on board was ever recovered, despite a multi-nation effort to scour the Indian Ocean for months. The government made the official declaration so that loved ones of the missing passengers could apply for compensation payments and Malaysia Airlines could file insurance claims. Malaysia civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said finding evidence of the plane “remains a priority.” An Australian-led sea search in the southern Indian Ocean is scheduled to be completed by May.