BEIJING, Aug. 7 (UPI) — Dozens of distraught relatives of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passengers scuffled with police Friday in angry protests outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
Angered by what some see as mixed messages from the Malaysian and French governments over the link of pieces of debris found on French-governed Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean to the missing aircraft, some 50 protesters attempted to enter the building by force to demand some answers. Moments before the outburst, Chinese relatives of passengers walked out of a meeting with the airline, saying airline officials, plus a translator, were not prepared to address their concerns.
Of the 239 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft, 153 were Chinese.
“I can’t trust them,” said Wang Wing Lei, whose parents were aboard the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, 2014. “This is not the first time they get the wrong news … Why? You tell me why?”
The growing distrust of Malaysian authorities during the investigation reached a boiling point as relatives of passengers on the flight demanded Malaysia explain comments made by Prime Minister Najib Razak that the wing section wreckage was “conclusively” found to be from the missing aircraft. Many think Malaysia is eager to conclude the aircraft went down in the sea to close the matter. At the same time, French investigators have yet to confirm the link and dismissed claims that more wreckage found on the island, which is about 2,300 miles west of the primary search area off the coast of Australia, was from 370.
Early Friday, France increased its own exploration for the area around Reunion after new debris was discovered on the island, including a plane window and seat cushions. In a written statement, France said it would play its part in the international effort, led by Australia, to “shed light on this tragedy.”
As the ground search continues on Reunion, more debris has been found. That includesa laminated copy of the Koran, written in Jawi, an Arabic alphabet used in Brunei and Malaysia.