A press conference is held by the Malaysia Airlines at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2014. A Malaysian passenger plane carrying 239 people has lost contact with air traffic control in the early morning on Saturday on its way from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A total of 154 Chinese nationals were onboard the plane, including one infant and one from Taiwan. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Cries and tears grip a hotel conference room in Beijing on Saturday as some 120 relatives and friends gathered in hope of further news on their beloved ones aboard a missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines aircraft.
A young woman wept aloud while a female friend hugged her tightly. An elderly mother cried with anguish over the unknown fate of her 40-year-old son.
Many relatives just sat on the floor. A woman leaned his head against a wall and looked deeply pained. She told Xinhua that her husband was on the plane and they had spoken by phone last night.
Many grief-stricken relatives even fainted and some were led to hotel rooms to take rest. Some said they would fly to Vietnam to look for their beloved.
The relatives and friends of the missing passengers were angry at Malaysia Airlines' handling of the case it sent no staff to give them further information.
"My husband was on the plane and we had a young kid back at home. Our kid could not live without father," said a woman from Tianjin while sobbing.
She occasionally spoke in Chinese and English with people around hoping for new updates. No airline staff showed up and she said she was infuriated with the lack of communication.
"The Malaysia Airlines did not give us an explanation. It only gave us a piece of paper (a statement)," said another. "They only ordered us some water and bread. Here there are just some volunteers, with no airline staff having showed up."
More relatives and friends are still en route to the Lido Hotel, hoping for an update on the MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew, including 154 Chinese.
A news briefing at another packed conference room at the hotel was postponed several times until 2:30 p.m.. But a spokesperson from the airlines gave no further updates, simply reading a short statement that had already been released and saying they were still working to locate the plane.
Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left the Malaysian capital at 00:41 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Saturday, and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day, according to Malaysia Airlines.
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