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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:10pm
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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This article is now closed to comments

canesfanrs@yahoo.com
As much as I hate that those people lost their lives, it's time to move on. Many of them would stay in a free hotel for life if they could. It's why McDonald's and KFC don't leave out napkins and ketchup out, they would take it all!
cheungly
They are always angry. Always. Nothing new.
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.
HiggsSinglet
@******, I totally agree with you, these are such unreasonable people that lack common sense!! This is also why checking out of a hotel is such a hassle in PRC as well, I was told people will steal ash trays, hot plates, hair dryers etc. etc. etc.
chanaa
any sympathy i had for these people was lost long ago. this latest antic doesnt surprise me.
kick them out
mattsuppelsa
Fair enough, but its been almost two months of searching and although Malaysian has had some PR disasters and things have certainly gone wrong, they have done their best to comfort relatives.
As for the plane's whereabouts, this is now a question that over a dozen countries using the highest technology would like to know, so Malaysia cannot be blamed for this. Besides, the search isn't off, they are just asking relatives to go home - you mention high tech, why can't they be notified by telephone of new developments?
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.
lamlm38
I think this Malaysian Airline should get the fxxx out of China!!! Just no compassion whatsoever!!!

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