MH370 search: China demands to see proof that missing Malaysia Airlines flight crashed into the sea

Angry protests in Beijing as hunt for missing airliner is halted by bad weather


Grief-stricken relatives of passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight MH370 have protested outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, as China demanded to see the British satellite data analysis which led Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to announce the plane had crashed in the Indian Ocean with no survivors.

The hunt for physical evidence to back up that conclusion – and to illuminate why the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flew thousands of miles off its scheduled course – had to be abandoned today because of gale-force winds, heavy rain and turbulent seas.

Underlining the challenge facing the multinational search force of planes and ships, Mark Binskin, the vice chief of Australia’s Defence Force, commented: “We’re not trying to find a needle in a haystack; we’re still trying to define where the haystack is.”

While analysis of the Inmarsat data has enabled investigators to narrow the search zone in the remote southern Indian Ocean to one-fifth of the original area, it still encompasses a massive 1.2 million square kilometres.

“This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response,” the chairman of Malaysia Airlines, Mohammed Nor Yusof, told a press conference. “The investigation still under way may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th [when the plane vanished off radar screens].”


Mr Najib’s dramatic announcement confirming that all 239 people on board MH370 had perished has strained already frayed relations between Malaysia and China.

With Chinese accounting for two-thirds of the dead, emotions about Malaysia’s handling of the crisis are running high. Dozens of angry relatives, who have accused Malaysian authorities of a bungled initial response to the plane’s disappearance during a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, threw plastic water bottles at the embassy and scuffled with security guards.

Chanting “Liars” and “Malaysia, give us back our relatives”, they tried to storm the building and demanded a meeting with the Malaysian ambassador.

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, said he was sending a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur, where the government is under pressure to release the data analysis carried out by Inmarsat and experts from Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau.

While better weather is forecast for the Southern Ocean today, the loss of a day will make it more difficult for search teams to find and retrieve possible debris spotted by satellites and planes in recent days.

At a press conference, the Malaysian Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, acknowledged that relatives needed physical proof of the 777’s fate. “Until we can find debris and confirm the debris is from MH370, it is very difficult... to have closure for the families,” he said.

“We do not know why, we do not know how... the terrible tragedy happened,” said the airline’s chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

Geoff Dell, an accident investigation expert based at the University of Queensland, told Associated Press that just one piece of wreckage would enable oceanographers to plot where it might have drifted from, helping them determine where the plane went down.

Read more: Distraught families deserved so much more than a text
Chinese families call Malaysian Government ‘executioners’ and ‘killers’ as debris search area narrows
Has Malaysia been keeping information secret? Will they ever stop looking?
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

1st line call logger/ User access administrator

£9 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Warrington a...

Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star