Published On: Sun, Mar 30th, 2014

Malaysia Flight MH370: Chinese Families ‘Seek Answers’

Relatives of Chinese passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have flown to Kuala Lumpur to seek answers from the Malaysian authorities.The family members say they have not been given enough information, and want to meet Malaysia’s prime minister and transport minister face to face.

Chinese families seek answers

Search teams are continuing to look for remains of the plane in a vast area of the Indian Ocean.

The airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

Some relatives of the flight’s 153 Chinese passengers have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and have accused the authorities of withholding information.They have vented their anger at officials during regular briefings by Malaysian officials at a hotel in Beijing.

“We have demanded that we meet with the prime minister and the transportation minister,” said Wang Chunjiang, whose younger brother was on Flight 370.

“We have questions that we would like to ask them in person.”

Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Saturday that the search for survivors would continue.

“The hardest part of my job is to see the families,” he said.

“I’ve always said we are hoping against hope that we will find survivors,” he said.

Malaysian officials have concluded that, based on satellite data, the missing plane flew into the sea somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. So far no trace of it has been found.A Chinese and an Australian ship failed to identify debris from the missing flight after their first day in a new search area, about 1,850km (1,150 miles) west of Perth, on Saturday.

Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 and Australia’s HMAS Success both retrieved objects but none was confirmed to be from flight MH370, Australia’s maritime authority said.

Meanwhile Chinese aircraft flew over the area and spotted more objects.

Ten planes and eight ships are taking part in Sunday’s search operations, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said in a statement.

The weather is expected to worsen through the day. Poor conditions have hampered recent efforts.

Aircraft involved in the hunt for the plane have so far reported seeing a number of objects of various colours floating in the sea in the new area.

Some of the objects have been very small, and officials have cautioned that they may be sea junk.

The current search area covers some 319,000 sq km (123,000 sq miles) and is about 1,100km (700 miles) north-east of the previous zone.

Officials said the focus changed after radar data showed the plane had been travelling faster that previously thought, thus burning more fuel.

This would reduce the possible distance the aircraft travelled south.

Various theories about what went wrong have been suggested – including the captain hijacking his own plane.

The speculation was fuelled by reports that files had been deleted on the pilot’s home flight simulator.

However Malaysia’s transport minister said investigators had found “nothing sinister” from the simulator.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

The airliner diverted off course and lost contact with air traffic controllers between Malaysian and Vietnamese air-traffic control areas.