The family members of the passengers on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 screamed, cried and fainted when they were told by airline officials today there was no hope their loved ones would be found alive.
At the Lido Hotel in Beiijing, where some families have been gathering for a painful 17 days awaiting news, one woman was so overcome with grief that she fainted and had to be taken out on a stretcher. Get All the Latest Updates on the Vanished Malaysia Airlines Plane
The announcement that officials believe the jetliner plunged into a remote part of the Indian Ocean triggered an explosion of grief and anger. Cries of anguish could be heard coming from a room where relatives had congregated. Women screamed and men cursed and the live news conference from Malaysia was cut off. About 50 police officers arrived and at least one scuffle broke out.
A woman emerged to tell the media, "Tell the world it is not true, it's wrong," she pleaded. Other slapped at the cameras and microphones of the media.
"My children didn’t die, they must have been hidden somewhere," a woman wailed. "How can I trust this government?"
Within minutes of the presser beginning, an ambulance pulled up at the hotel and three stretchers were taken inside. The security and family members are screaming at the press to get out of the way. One woman was hunched over on a stretcher wailing as a medic rubbed her back and asked her to try to calm down.
A Chinese woman told ABC News that she and her husband got emails in English that they could not expect any survivors.
At the Hotel Bangi Putrajaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the doomed flight originated, a one family emerged from a meeting with officials walking hand in hand and crying. Another group could be heard crying loudly from inside the hotel room.
Others were clearly distraught. One crying woman hit the wall and yelled something which could not be understood.
A woman who identified herself as a relative of the plane's pilot, but asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News, "We are sad. We are managing well because of our faith. We are prepared for the worst and are hoping for a miracle."
Jacquita Gomes, the wife of the plane's chief steward Patrick Gomes, tearfully told ABC News that a Malaysia Airlines representative showed up at her house today, where media cameras were parked outside, to tell her the news.
Sara Bajc, the girlfriend of Philip Wood, an IBM executive who was on board the plane, shared the message she said she received from Malaysia Airlines.
"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived," it said. "As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."
Shortly after Bajc asid she received the message, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a news conference where he said new satellite data revealed that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 "ended" in the south Indian Ocean.
"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Razak said.
The jet vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.