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Missing MAS flight: Families and friends camp at Beijing hotel for further news

tragedi mas_4BEIJING: Some 100 relatives and friends of those on MH370 are camped at the Lido Hotel in northeast Beijing, hoping for updates from Malaysia Airlines.

Many of those who waited for friends or relatives to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 were told to go to the Lido Hotel to wait for further news.

At least 200 reporters from more than 100 media outlets worldwide packed the lobby and the second floor of Lido Hotel, waiting outside the rooms where the next-of-kin were in.

Most of the relatives of the passengers arrived at the hotel since 10am.

The door to a medium-sized conference room on the second floor of the hotel was shut tight, with two men guarding each side, and no reporters were permitted to go inside.

As soon as anyone stepped out, journalists would immediately surround the person, and fire a barrage of questions, while cameras clicked non-stop.

However, none of them wanted to talk to reporters.

With her voice trembling with emotion, a middle-aged woman asked the reporters to stop.

A man in his late 20s, surnamed Zhang, said his best friend was on the missing plane.

“We have been waiting inside the hotel conference room for hours. Several volunteers handed out forms for relatives to fill, but so far, no Malaysia Airlines staff came to meet us,” he said.

“We know nothing about the flight except that it was delayed. It was through a microblog that I knew that it was missing,” said Zhang Jianhui.

The 36-year-old Malaysian revealed that he was waiting for his friend, whom he only identified as Cheung who works in the construction business.

Zhang’s wife Zhai Le, a 33-year-old Malaysian, said they were planning to host their friend for a tour around China and had been at the airport since about 6am, where the plane was supposed to land at 6.30am.

For many, the media has been the sole channel for them to get the latest information, with some being unhappy with the seemingly slow reaction from Malaysia Airlines.

“Nobody contacted us and we knew nothing until we saw the news on television,” said a man who was at the airport with his sister.

Three members of her daughter’s family are all on board of the missing plane.

— China Daily

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