Several Chinese families of passengers who were on board missing flight MH370 have gone to Malaysia seeking information on the incident. A search for the plane in a new area has so far been fruitless.
Several dozen Chinese relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 arrived in Malaysia on Sunday in the hope of finding out more about what has happened to the airliner, which vanished more than three weeks ago.
The families are calling for a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, according to media reports.
An aide to Najib said no meeting had been scheduled for Sunday with the newly arrived families, who have reportedly been taken to a hotel by the airline.
Several other Chinese family members have been in Malaysia since shortly after the plane was reported missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Around two-thirds of the 227 passengers on the plane were Chinese.
Najib said last week that satellite data and other calculations showed that the plane had crashed in the Indian Ocean on March 8 after deviating from its course for unknown reasons.
However, many relatives of the Chinese passengers are refusing to accept this account of events until an ongoing air and sea search turns up positive evidence. Beijing has also urged Malaysia to be more open about the investigation, with some families accusing the Malaysian government of withholding information.
Meanwhile, planes and ships from China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the United States have so far failed to find any trace of the missing aircraft after a new search zone was opened up on Friday.
Debris spotted by aircraft and then picked up by ships proved not to be from the plane, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.
Australian authorities, who are coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean, moved operations 1,100 km (685 miles) two days ago after new analysis of radar and satellite data suggested that the Boeing 777 traveled for a shorter distance than previously thought. The search area now lies 1,850 km west of the Australian city of Perth and is about the size of Norway.
The search has seen unprecedented cooperation between more than two dozen countries, but has also been hindered by regional rivalries and some seeming reluctance to share information because of security concerns.
tj/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP)