Flight MH370

Malaysia Airlines flight 370

Relatives on edge of hope as they wait for news of flight MH370

Relatives spend another day waiting to learn of their loved ones' fate , fearing that every piece of news could be the one they don't want to hear

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 4:50am

Families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines jet endured another anxious day at a Beijing hotel yesterday, worrying over fresh reports that objects were seen in the Indian Ocean.

Some feared it was the news they didn't want to hear.

"My tears dried up during the tiring wait. We still held on to hope because there had not been confirmed bad news," said a man from Beijing whose aunt was aboard the missing flight.

He said he had experienced an emotional roller coaster in recent days with each report of satellite pings and possible shifts in the flight path. But still, his aunt's fate was a mystery. And that meant there was a chance.

"We heard it was hijacking and we were pinning hopes on [a belief] that the plane did not crash and everybody was all right," he said. "There was no bad news and we felt that they would soon probably turn up. But now this has changed everything."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced earlier in the day that satellite imagery had detected one object of 24 metres in length and another about 5 metres long.

Four military search planes were sent to the area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

"Why did some media use the words 'possible wreck'? It is not confirmed," the man said. "We just hope that later today it will be confirmed that the objects were not related to the flight."

Some family members lingered long after the announcement at the Metropark Lido Hotel, eyes fixed on a television as they waited for updates.

The media was banned from the room, but some relatives invited in reporters.

"I am too nervous and don't dare to move," said a woman whose husband was on the missing flight.

"We were waiting for news that they would return safe and sound and suddenly, out came the news of possible wreck. I pray this is not related to the plane."

Another man kept switching between channels and ran to tell other relatives when the television news presenters mentioned there was more news.

One station said it could take days to identify if the objects caught by satellite were from flight MH370, and at least two days for the Chinese research ship Snow Dragon to get to the area where the debris was seen.

"It's torturous that everything is so slow and takes so long," the man said.

A young man from Shandong, whose uncle was on the missing flight, said: "All the information is noise and I don't believe any of it until the truth is out.

"If they say they are alive, I need to see them. And if they are dead, I need to see the bodies to believe."