BEIJING- Relatives of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 voiced fear and concern Saturday after reports that the jet’s diversion may have been intentional, demanding answers one week after the plane’s disappearance.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that the plane’s sudden changing of direction after vanishing from civilian radar was “consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane” and that its final satellite communication came more than six-and-a-half hours after it vanished from civilian radar.
The flight’s 153 Chinese passengers comprised nearly two-thirds of the 239 people on board, and relatives gathered at the Lido Hotel in Beijing said after watching Razak’s televised press conference that the prime minister’s remarks did little to ease their nerves, with some openly suggesting foul play on the Malaysian side.
“I feel (Malaysia Airlines) had a role to play in this incident,” Wen Wancheng, a man from east China’s Shandong province whose son is among the passengers on the missing flight, told a gaggle of reporters after watching Razak’s news conference.
He expressed skepticism at the latest update given by Razak regarding the time of the plane’s final communication, calling the flight’s disappearance “a conspiracy…from the beginning”.
“The original time they gave was 1:21 am., and today it was officially changed to 8:11 am.,” he said. “It’s the prime minister who said it. You can tell from the timing whether they’re hiding anything or not.”
Several passengers’ relatives told AFP after a two-hour meeting with airline representatives in Beijing earlier Saturday that they were frustrated with the lack of definite information on the plane’s whereabouts.
“Right now, anything is possible,” one middle-aged woman said. “We keep hoping there will be some good news, but it is not going well.”