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  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 3:44am
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
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Flight MH370

Relatives of flight MH370 angry over order to quit Beijing hotel

Provincial officials sent to Lido Hotel to persuade families they should return home

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 May, 2014, 11:37pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 May, 2014, 6:53pm

Malaysia Airlines' decision to shut down assistance centres set up for relatives of passengers aboard missing flight 370 has left the families angry and confused.

Yesterday, family members were asked to check out of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, where at least 100 police and several ambulances were on stand-by in case of trouble.

"Why did they ask us to leave so suddenly? Why couldn't they have given us five or six more days?" a woman from Henan province asked.

A receptionist at the hotel said a large number of relatives had checked out by late afternoon.

It is torture ... if we go home, who are we going to direct our questions to?
Relative Nan Kaijun

On Thursday, the Malaysian government released a preliminary report on flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. It showed air traffic controllers took 17 minutes to notice the disappearance and four hours for officials to declare a search-and-rescue mission.

"That's why I think this is a political issue," said a Tianjin woman whose boyfriend was on board the flight. "Why else would it take them four hours to start the search?"

A search of the southern Indian Ocean where the Boeing 777 is believed to have gone down has found no sign of the airliner.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said France took more than six hours to declare a rescue mission after Air France flight 447 went missing over the Atlantic in 2009. But, he said, the investigation team would still look into the issue.

That will come as little comfort to relatives.

"It is torture," said Nan Kaijun, a Shandong native whose brother-in-law was on board the plane. "If we go home, who are we going to direct our questions to? Who will update us on new developments?"

Provincial officials have been at the hotel trying to persuade relatives to return home, as well as offering temporary accommodation in Beijing if they wish to stay.

Bian Zengchao, a village-level official from Hebei , said he and nine other officials were told to escort three family members home. "We are worried about them," Bian said.

A woman from Henan, whose elder brother was on board the plane, said officials from her village had travelled to the hotel and pressured her to leave.

The Beijing Lawyer's Association has assembled 71 lawyers to provide free legal services. They will negotiate compensation.

Malaysia Airlines will begin to distribute US$50,000 to each family next week, but some relatives may not accept it yet.

"Accepting the money and signing with the lawyers would mean I accept that he's dead," the Tianjin woman said. "I'm not ready to do that yet."

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17

This article is now closed to comments

Beaker
There are only so many times you can put up with ziploc lined LV bags full of boiled shrimp. How many days did Korean family members get in San Francisco hotels after Asiana plane crashed at SFO? I don't recall any. I swear, Chinese Mainlanders are just going to make themselves so loathed that nobody will have them despite their money. I know, even The Mandarin Oriental is bastardising itself with simplified Chinese to curry to the nouveau riche peaseantry. Sad, very sad indeed. But, I also saw in Banff years ago that the hotel F&B manager refused to seat a bus load of Mainlanders at the Banff Spring Hotel. They were "full". "We must be concerned about the enjoyment of our other guests". The Mandarin should learn from that.
Andy Mayweather
Good sir, you are clearly deluded on two fronts: 1) the plane being in Somalia; 2) your view on mainland Chinese people.
Stop being so bigoted and have some compassion.
Beaker
In case you missed it the first round.
Below is my logic:
1 Nobody flies 7 hours to die. rules out SW quadrant, all ocean.
2 Cannot fly SE quadrant, radars and end up with AU hostage crisis.
3 Cannot fly NE quadrant, could have just left it to end up in CN. Chinese radar would have picked them up.
4 Cannot fly NW quadrant, Indian and Pakistani radars would have picked them up. and where would they go to?
5 That leaves westerly route to Somalia.
6 Why Somalia? Pirates are out of work. 5 ships taken in 2013.
7 Somalis are good at holding hostages, not many successful hostage rescues.
8 Somalis are sub contracted to hold hostages. Good experience.
9 Stupid, really stupid journalists from all the world report the NE and SE arcs of the geosynch satellite as "air corridors" because idiots think it sounds good. Who would fly to the SE "air corridor" if not going to Antarctica? These 2 arcs form the circle of the range covered by the geosync satellite, not air corridors.
10 The air corridor the MH370 tried to mimic was via India towards EU. The whole world got this wrong.
11 Plane flies air corridor towards India as plane on air hwy. draws less attention.
then, plane diverts west towards Somalia.
12 Pilot slowed to get extra mileage for maximizing fuel range, not 880 kph, but maybe slower at 800 kph. Cd is squared function, so much lower fuel consumption, like driving 55 mph vs. 75 mph. (880/800)^2 = 121% more range.
Andy Mayweather
You sound all kinds of crazy.
Absolutely bonkers!
chanaa
any sympathy i had for these people was lost long ago. this latest antic doesnt surprise me.
kick them out
andreaswagner
I think Malaysia and Malaysian Airlines have shown LOTS of patience with these 'people'. WTF, do they think they can live in a Beijing hotel for life?? If there's any news about the plane wreck they will be the first to know. No need to bum around and complain. Don't they have jobs?
Beaker
Leaches. 1st, they are not dead. They are in Somalia held as hostages for ransom money. 2nd, if they are dead, do these leaches expect to be compensated for life for free hotel and room service? They have telephones, they have internet. that is how people communicate these days, relatives dead or alive. These people are not leaving a good impression of Chinese people to the world. IamIam38 is no better than these leaches. Idiot.
lamlm38
I think this Malaysian Airline should get the fxxx out of China!!! Just no compassion whatsoever!!!
aplucky1
good let the mainland pay the bill
you realize if this happened the other way, and a china plane disappeared they would probably throw the family members in jail for some lame law
Queenbee99
Have some sympathy. It is unreasonable to ask people to move on if there is no closure. Also bear in mind that in China people have only ONE child so to lose one child or an entire family is devastating.
If the relatives stay in one place, then perhaps they can receive proper counseling services, but to send some of these people back to the provinces means they do not have access to counseling services, and these people may end up self-harming.
Also, with today's technology, why can we not locate a plane when our phones track our every move? Why was search and rescue launched so late ?
Only if you are in the relatives shoes can you understand their pain. These people are in a state of what you can call purgatory so yes, they have a right to be "unreasonable" if they lose their entire family or loved ones.
And we all fly on planes so it is in everyone's interest to find out what happened.

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