Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Angry relatives hold staff at Beijing hotel for 10 hours

Angry family members held staff while they tried to get a Malaysian official to attend a briefing

More than 200 angry relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 kept members of the carrier's staff in a hotel in Beijing for more than 10 hours, the airline said on Friday.

A spokesperson for Malaysia Airlines said relatives held 10 members of staff for nearly 11 hours inside the hotel ballroom where a briefing was due to take place on Thursday, insisting they wait there while the family members went to the embassy to try to get a Malaysian official to attend the meeting.

Relatives of the passengers on the missing jetliner have been staging a sit-in protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing after officials failed to show up to update them on the search.

"Malaysia Airlines confirms that its staff were held at the Lido Hotel ballroom in Beijing by the family members of MH370 as the families expressed dissatisfaction in obtaining details of the missing aircraft," the airline said.

In a separate incident, a Chinese family member attacked a Malaysian Airlines security supervisor on duty at the same hotel on Tuesday.

On Friday morning, more than 100 police and paramilitary officers cordoned off the area around the embassy. The group finally released the staff members at 1:44 am on Friday.

"We keep on waiting because we want the news," said Steve Wang, whose parents were aboard the flight told The Associated Press. "What we are concerned about is where is the plane, and where are our loved ones."

Mr Wang said the relatives felt slighted by the failure of the Malaysian officials to appear for the briefing. Many have refused to accept the theory that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean and insist that Malaysian officials have not told them the truth about the plane's disappearance.

The Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said that an announcement would likely come next week on the next phase of the search for the Boeing 777, which vanished with 239 people on board during its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March.

A tropical cyclone has hampered the efforts of search teams this week trying to find debris from the plane on the ocean’s surface, almost seven weeks after it went missing.

This places the focus of the search, understood to be the most expensive in aviation history, back on the US Navy’s submersible vehicle Bluefin 21, which will soon finish scouring a 6.2 square mile stretch of seabed.

"If no contacts of interest are made, Bluefin 21 will continue to examine the areas adjacent to the radius," the Australian search coordination centre said in a statement.

Up to eight planes and 10 ships searched for debris over a 49,000-square-kilometer (19,000-square-mile) ocean expanse 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) northwest of the Australian west coast city of Perth on Friday.

Additional reporting by agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high