• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:00am
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
Flight MH370

Chinese families take Malaysia Airlines staff captive at hotel

Tempers flare as Malaysia vows to make public report it gave to the UN

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 5:30am

Ten Malaysia Airlines staff were held at a Beijing hotel against their will for hours by Chinese relatives of flight MH370 passengers, the airline said yesterday.

The airline employees were "barred from leaving" a ballroom for more than 10 hours on Thursday, and another staff member was kicked in the leg in a confrontation two days earlier, the airline said.

Tempers have repeatedly flared at the Lido Hotel, where Chinese relatives have been put up by the airline since the plane vanished, increasingly lashing out in briefings as Malaysian officials and the flag carrier have been unable to explain the plane's disappearance.

"Malaysia Airlines confirms that its staff were held at the Lido Hotel ballroom in Beijing by the family members of MH370 as the families expressed dissatisfaction in obtaining details of the missing aircraft," the airline said.

The more than 200 family members were incensed when a Malaysian government official did not come to brief them on Thursday, and the meeting descended into chaos as relatives angrily confronted airline staff.

An airline spokesman said "the main MAS officials were barred from leaving the ballroom" as about 60 family members left for the Malaysian embassy to demand information from government officials.

The relatives who went to the embassy remained there in an overnight protest, two participants said yesterday.

"We are so tired, as this is the 49th day. We didn't sleep the whole night, but we are still angry. No update has been made and our loved ones are still missing," a family representative said.

The carrier also said a Malaysia Airlines security supervisor was "kicked in the left knee" by an "aggressive" Chinese family member at the hotel on Tuesday.

About two-thirds of the 239 passengers aboard the missing plane came from China. Relatives have for weeks complained about the handling of the search for the plane, which vanished on March 8.

It disappeared from radar on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed far out in the Indian Ocean.

A multi-national search, however, has failed to find any debris despite weeks of looking.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday his country has asked Malaysia to "take seriously" the families' grievances, while urging families to behave in a "rational way".

In an effort to be transparent, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak promised that a preliminary report submitted to the United Nations' aviation body would be released publicly.

"In the name of transparency, we will release the report next week," he told CNN in an interview late on Thursday.

Anthony Brickhouse, a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, said the report was unlikely to contain anything startling.

"This preliminary report is really just a run-down of what you know so far," he said.

A difficult underwater search of the suspected crash site, using a mini-submarine equipped with a sonar device, is nearing completion with no trace of the plane found.


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This article is now closed to comments

If it was a Chinese aircraft, the government would have them all quiet and back to their homes. They just know how to fight when it is not against their own government.
Just where were the police when this was going on? No doubt they didn't intervene because it was Chinese people in conflict with foreigners.
Why are these so called family members who held these MAS employees against their will not being arrested? Why is that so called aggressive family member who kicked the MAS security supervisor in the knee not arrested?
So PRC is a law abiding country? What a joke!!! These people behaves like a bunch of spoiled child and acts like bandits!!!
They are a disgrace to all people of Chinese decent in the world!!!
Stories like this together with the new call of tha mainlanders for the "Big Weewee Party" in Hong Kong give a very "good" image to China. If I would have a saying in the (Mainland) Chinese Government, I would stop stop these people immediately and would at least try to get these things pff the screen. Normally the Chinese Government would has such powers, but seems they either want to let such an image of China go around the worls or they simlpy lost thier powers.
Utterly ridiculous. Of course the families are mourning and in pain, but what is taking hostages supposed to accomplish? It won't make the diligent workers find the plane any faster. What they have to start thinking about now is the cost involved and at what point does the search have to end?
Well, in the world people might not be able tell the difference between Chinese from HK or the Mainland and that's why Hong Kongers are the big looser in this game. Hong Kongers are not peeing or s*i*ting on the streets in the Mainland and they normally behave quite well when travelling.
Its meaningless to do anything to the Malaysia Airline staff after the incident happened. I offer my condolences to the family members but all those uncivilised action just won't help.
Remember the tainted milk scandal.. That guy was put in jail for making noise after his kid was poisoned by the tainted milk. Any mainlander raises their voice in China they get put in jail. Why cant they put article 7 in to practice here. Sorry...but what if iar china was missing. Will they be making so much noise?? The communist...as f*ck*d up as their govt.
I flew Air China once from HK to Beijing and I screamed the whole time, and I am a seasoned flyer. I thought the plane was going to disintegrate any moment. If you think Malaysia Airlines is unsafe, fly Chinese-run aircraft.
No-one manages to lose other people's sympathy better than Chinese people, from China or Hong Kong.



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