Grief for families informed that plane went into Indian Ocean

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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 2:04 PM

BEIJING (AP) — There's renewed grief today for family members of the 239 people on board the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared more than two weeks ago, with today's announcement from Malaysia's prime minister that the plane had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.

Relatives of passengers in Beijing -- the plane's destination -- were called to a hotel near the airport today to hear the news, and about 50 of them gathered there. There were shrieks and sobs after the announcement. One woman collapsed and fell on her knees, mourning the loss of her son.

Another woman whose brother-in-law was on the flight says she was prepared for the worst when she heard the Malaysian prime minister would make a statement. She said the news is a "blow" that is "beyond description."

Some of the families received a text message from the airline. It read, "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, "We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."

%@AP Links

219-r-26-(Sound of woman crying and shouting, as relatives of Flight 370 passengers in Kula Lumpur react to news the flight crashed in Indian Ocean)--Sound of a relative of a passenger on the missing Malaysia Air flight, crying and shouting after family members were told all lives were lost. (24 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *219 (03/24/14)££ 00:26

APPHOTO XHG149: Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines, MH370 read out a statement calling for Malaysia Airlines and Malaysia's government to be held accountable after learning about the latest news in Beijing, China, Monday, March 24, 2014. It was the grim news that families of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight had dreaded for weeks, and on Monday they heard it from Malaysia's prime minister: New analysis of satellite data indicates the missing plane crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (25 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO XHG149 (03/25/14)££

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