Families of Chinese passengers aboard missing plane disrupt meeting

March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM
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SEPANG, Malaysia, March 19 (UPI) -- Families of Chinese passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane disrupted Wednesday's briefing, saying they don't trust Malaysian officials' truthfulness.

Media representatives were awaiting the briefing when screams were heard from several family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that disappeared March 8, the New Straits Times reported.

About two-thirds of the 227 passengers on the flight are Chinese, Twelve crew members also were on board the plane that went missing about an hour after it left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing.

"We do not trust the government," one protester yelled while others accused the Malaysian government of withholding information.

They were escorted from the room by security personnel.

The New Straits Times, citing reports from Beijing, said families threatened to stage a hunger strike until the Malaysian government tells the truth about what happened to the flight.

"What we want is the truth. Don't let them become victims of politics. No matter what political party you are, no matter how much power you have, if there isn't life, what's the point? Where is compassion?" one protester said.

In Sepang, Malaysia, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein recognized that the protesters were frustrated before beginning the briefing.

"I fully understand what they are going through. Emotions are running high," Hishammuddin said. "Although we understand their concerns, we are trying our very best. It is heart-wrenching, even for me."

Hishammuddin, who also is Malaysia's defense minister, said background checks for all but three of passengers and crew produced no "information of significance."

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