Malaysia crash inquiry could be among most challenging ever
* Monday's announcement paves way for crash investigation
* Likely to be even tougher that 2009 Air France case
* Plane debris, if found, should give clues to what happened
By Siva Govindasamy and Tim Hepher
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Reuters) - Confirmation that a missing Malaysian airliner crashed in the Indian Ocean opens the way for what could be one of the most costly and challenging air crash investigations in history.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Flight MH370 had ended far from any runway, signalling a shift of focus from a search for survivors to a mission to recover bodies and hunt for debris and black boxes.
Based on fresh analysis of satellite data by UK-based Inmarsat, Malaysia's decision to declare the aircraft lost in international waters marks a new phase in a search which has narrowed to an area southwest of Perth, Australia.
A civil investigation is likely to be carried out by Malaysia with the support of others, two people familiar with the matter said, ending two weeks of apparent legal limbo.
The launch of an official air crash investigation would give Malaysia power to coordinate and sift evidence, but it may still face critics, especially China. Continuación...