MH370 family members hold candlelit vigil in Beijing

Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 take part in a prayer service at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 8, 2014.-- PHOTO: AFP
Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 take part in a prayer service at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 8, 2014.-- PHOTO: AFP

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 special report

BEIJING (AFP) - Family members of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 held a tearful vigil in Beijing in the early hours of Tuesday to mark one month since contact with the plane was lost.

Dozens of family members placed candles in the shape of a heart surrounding an aeroplane on the carpeted floor of the capital's Lido hotel.

They sat in a circle around the candles, with some audibly wailing while others remained silent or pressed their palms together in gestures of prayer.

"We've been waiting and holding on here for already 31 days," said Steve Wang, one of the relatives.

"Don't cry anymore. Don't hurt anymore. Don't despair. Don't feel lost," he counselled others who gathered for the vigil.

There is still no proof of what happened to the plane, but an intensive international search is now focused on the southern Indian Ocean off Australia, where possible ping signals have been detected, potentially emanating from the plane's "black box" flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

About a third of the 239 people on board were Chinese.

MH370 Sequence of events map