China demands info from Malaysia

Malaysia's prime minister announced earlier that flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Grieving relatives of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave a hotel hall after being told the news that the plane plunged into Indian Ocean in Beijing on 24 March. Picture: AFP.

BEIJING - China's foreign ministry is demanding Malaysia provide all information and evidence about a missing Malaysian jet after the country's prime minister said it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

"China has already been informed by Malaysia of this announcement, and we are paying great attention," the ministry said in a statement.

"China has already demanded that Malaysia further provides all information and evidence about how it reached this conclusion," it said, adding that China hoped search efforts continued.

Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines flight reacted with hysteria on Monday after the Malaysian prime minister announced the jet ended its journey in the remote Southern Indian Ocean.

At the Beijing hotel where many of the relatives are staying, family members erupted in shouts and tears after they heard the news, wailing and in some cases dropping to the floor.

One woman screamed out: "It's not possible, it's not possible!" before collapsing.

At least four people were stretchered out, having apparently been overcome with emotion.

Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after take-off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people ,more than half Chinese nationals, on board on 8 March.

No confirmed sighting of the plane has been made since, but much debris has been found in waters off Australia which might be part of the missing plane.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said fresh analysis of satellite information from British company Inmarsat had shown that the last position of the aircraft was in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) prepares to deliver his statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Picture:AFP.

Several Chinese media outlets reported on their official Weibo microblogs that family members received a text message saying that "we have to assume beyond reasonable doubt" that none of those onboard survived.

China has repeatedly pressed the airline and the Malaysian government to give more information to family members and ensure they are being properly looked after.

Some relatives had threatened hunger strikes and protests in front of the Malaysian embassy to express their anger.