• Wed
  • Sep 3, 2014
  • Updated: 6:00am
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.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

As a way to express their frustration, may I suggest the mainland Chinese to urinate on the street of Malaysia and on every Malaysia Airline Flight. Mainland Chinese are shamelessly proud of that capability.
And we call ourselves as supposedly having thousands of years more culture and civility than everyone else...
If you want to take out your anger, go find the actual person or persons responsible instead of finding some random person that just wears the same uniform. This is just acting like a savage.
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.
Hi, I fully empathise with the Relatives, of the feelings, of the hundreds of Soul's lost on flt MH 370.
There is no solace for the Grief of a lost Child. Suddenly. Horrifically. It will remain with them, every waking moment, of their lives. Bugger the Politicians. This is Personal. TRULY, MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES. NO WORDS CAN PUT A BAHM ON YOUR GRIEF. PLEASE, MY HEART AND GRIEF IS WITH YOU. BRIAN WILLIAMS.
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.
Now u see why the Chinese gov has to be strict , you see why Deng was strict during Tianamen. Democracy is only for the rational, educated , and civilised.
OldPeak Toad
Here we go again! Pay these guys off - they are greedy Chinese, you know. And raise an international black alert against tourists from the Mainland - and Hong Kong, their teachers!
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.
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.




SCMP.com Account