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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 families get $50,000 in first payouts

The families of people on board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are beginning to receive their first payouts in the amount of $50,000 per victim. A government official who is overseeing the needs of the next of kin for the 239 passengers said Thursday that six Malaysian families and one Chinese family have received the advance payment.

A decision determining the amount of the final payment will be made when "the issue of the tragedy is over," said Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainudin. He said the figure will be decided only when the aircraft is found, and when authorities figure out what brought the plane down.

The Beijing-bound Boeing 777 disappeared after departing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. Since then, not a single piece of debris has been found despite a massive and expensive search effort.