Chinese relatives slam Malaysia Airlines for inadequate assistance

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 accuse 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.

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.

Malaysia envoy to China Iskandar Sarudin was present at the briefing - his fourth appearance at least.