Flight MH370: Families clash with police outside Malaysia’s embassy in Beijing
Families of Chinese passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have clashed with police outside Malaysia’s embassy in Beijing.
It came after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said a new analysis of satellite data showed the plane had ended its journey in remote seas south-west of Australia.
China has asked to see the data on which Malaysia’s conclusion was based.
The search for missing flight MH370 has been suspended because of bad weather.
Malaysia Airlines disappeared on March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including 153 Chinese nationals.
In Beijing, relatives of the passengers released a statement accusing the Malaysian government of trying to “delay, distort and hide the truth”.
Dozens then left their Beijing hotel on a protest bound for the Malaysian embassy. Police stopped their buses from leaving, so they got off and walked to the diplomatic mission.
Scuffles broke out as protesters threw water bottles and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador.
Meanwhile acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the latest analysis of satellite data showed a final automatic signal – known as a “handshake” or “ping” – that was still being investigated.
“There is evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC [GMT],” he told a news conference on Tuesday.
“At this time, this transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work.”
If confirmed, this signal would have been sent more than seven hours after contact with air traffic control was lost, and eight minutes after the last confirmed handshake.
A multinational search effort has focused on seas some 1,500 miles to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak said on Monday it had to be concluded “with deep sadness and regret” that “flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.
Najib Raszak said the conclusion the plane was lost was based on new satellite analysis by British firm Inmarsat and information from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
However, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng issued a statement saying: “We demand the Malaysian side state the detailed evidence that leads them to this judgement, as well as supply all the relevant information and evidence about the satellite data analysis.
“The search and rescue work cannot stop now. We demand the Malaysian side continue to finish all the work including search and rescue.”
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