Chinese relatives protest declaration all perished on missing flight MH370

World Today

An unidentified Chinese family member of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 stands behind a placard outside of the Malaysia Airlines office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. Photo: AP

Chinese relatives of passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight protested Thursday outside the carrier’s office, urging Malaysia to rescind a declaration that all on board have perished.

Flight 370, which disappeared March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off Western Australia. A search is ongoing but no confirmed debris has been found.

Malaysia’s government on Jan. 29 formally declared the plane an accident and said all 239 people on board were presumed dead, paving the way for compensation claims. It upset victims’ families, who are still waiting for evidence of the plane’s fate.

“I cannot accept it. Where is the debris? Where are the bodies? Nothing is found, why declare it an accident?” Wang Rung Xiang, 58, said. Her only son, Hou Bo, 35, was on the plane.

“My daughter is still alive,” another relative wailed, as she was consoled by others.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Thursday that the declaration was intended to allow families to move on and assured the relatives that the international search will continue.

Fifteen Chinese relatives of passengers arrived Wednesday in Malaysia to demand answers, and more are expected to arrive before the Lunar New Year. Most of the passengers were from China.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.