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Grief overwhelms relatives of flight 370 victims

By Michael Barris in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-03-25 11:10

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Grief overwhelms relatives of flight 370 victims
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It was the news that families of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 didn’t want to hear.

And when Malaysia'’s prime minister announced that the plane had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean and nobody among the 229 passengers, 155 of them Chinese, had survived, there were screams, cries and disbelief.

“My son! My son!” yelled a woman who collapsed to her knees, tears streaming down her face. She was among family members in Beijing who had been called to a hotel near the capital’s airport to hear the announcement. They soon filed out, in heart-wrenching grief.

“All my family are gone,” screamed a woman who burst out of the Metropark Lido hotel’s grand ballroom in a frenzy.

The missing jet has consumed the world’s attention and a multinational force of planes, ships and satellites for 17 days. Search teams from 26 nations have pored over radar data and searched a wide swath of Asia for weeks but no confirmed wreckage has been found.

Some of the grief-stricken relatives were wheeled from the briefing room on stretchers, and one group of relatives smashed the lens of a reporter's camera, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, with the location of Flight 370 itself still unknown, the US Navy sent a black-box locator on a ship to the site to find the plane’s flight recorder, the Department of Defense said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the news Monday night in a statement to reporters in Kuala Lumpur. The information, he said, was based on a study of data from a satellite that had received the final known signals from the plane as it tracked southward.

The data indicated that the jetliner flew "to a remote location, far from any possible landing sites," Razak said.

"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."

In a statement to the families, Malaysia Airlines said: "We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain."

Investigators have not ruled out mechanical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

Grief overwhelms relatives of flight 370 victims

Grief overwhelms relatives of flight 370 victims

Video: Friend defends MH370 pilot

Nik Huzlan, a previous classmate of Captain Zaharie, speaks high of the pilot.

Grief overwhelms relatives of flight 370 victims

Video: Officials remain puzzled

Tension mounted as the search for the missing Malaysian airplane continued. 

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