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Chinese relatives slam Malaysia Airlines for inadequate assistance

Published on Mar 26, 2014 2:52 PM
 

BEIJING - Families of Chinese passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 have issued a statement on Wednesday lambasting the airlines for neglecting their well-being.

They accused MAS of not manning a caregiver hotline and cutting back staff numbers at Metropark Lido Hotel in Beijing where the families are awaiting news of their loved ones on board the jetliner.

In a statement read out by a representative of a committee of family members set up after flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, the relatives also criticised MAS for the lack of clarity on providing hotel stay for those returning from Kuala Lumpur.

The statement was released ahead of a briefing to Chinese relatives by a MAS technical team at Lido Hotel at 3pm local time on Wednesday.

A relative (centre) of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 speaks to the media at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 26, 2014. Families of Chinese passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 have issued a statement on Wednesday lambasting the airlines for neglecting their well-being. -- PHOTO: AFP

At Wednesday's briefing, over 100 police officers were deployed as more than 300 relatives gathered in the ballroom for the briefing.

Some relatives berated police officers for taking up limited seats in the ballroom.

Some asked: "Are police officers here to protect us or Malaysian officials?"

Security was stepped up at the hotel after tempers frayed at recent meetings between relatives and MAS officials.

In Kuala Lumpur, Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday to discuss the disappearance of flight MH370, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mr Zhang, who is vice-foreign minister, will also meet with Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, as well as senior management of Malaysia Airlines, Xinhua said.

The Chinese government wants Malaysia to hand over satellite data analysis which led it to conclude that MH370 had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a special envoy to be sent to Kuala Lumpur to find out more after Mr Najib said on Monday night that latest data analysis showed the last position of flight MH370 was in a remote area in the southern Indian Ocean.

A total of 239 people - 153 of them Chinese nationals -  were on board the plane when it disappeared while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 

A massive search involving vessels and aircraft from six nations is now underway in the southern Indian Ocean for debris of the plane.

 

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