BEIJING - Emotions erupted when relatives in Beijing were told that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost in southern Indian Ocean, with some crying hysterically and others smashing chairs.
Security guards had to ask media to leave the room at the Metropark Lido hotel while three medical teams were reportedly sent in.
Some relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers on the ill fated Malaysian Airlines flight had been called to gather in the hotel ballroom to watch the live telecast of Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak's press conference at 10pm in Kuala Lumpur.
At around 9pm, the MAS had sent text messages to relatives informing them in advance of what Mr Najib was going to say.
It read: "Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none on board survived.
"As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept that all evidence suggests the plane went down."
At a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur about an hour later, Mr Najib said new data analysis had concluded that "MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth".
"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,'' said Mr Najib.
After the announcement, some family members came out of the room crying uncontrollably, supported by other family members. Loud sounds of crying in the room could also be heard.
"Why were they hiding the truth? Why did they not tell us everything earlier? Don't they have children?" one man shouted.
Another woman said: "The way they told us the news is too cruel...They should come out and talk to us...Malaysia is too cruel. Tell the world for us!"