×

MH370 families accuse Malaysia Airlines of 'hiding truth'

Tensions between Malaysia Airlines and the Chinese families of MH370 passengers rose on Friday after international media were blocked from attending a Beijing meeting to update relatives on debris recovered from the missing plane.

As many as 100 family members had gathered at a Malaysia Airlines outlet in an airport cargo base to question the airline on why Malaysia appeared more certain than French investigators that the flaperon, or wing flap, found on the French island of Reunion last week was from MH370.

Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 last year while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people on board.

On Thursday families of had pointed out discrepancies between televised announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the wing flap was from MH370 – making it the first piece of evidence of the fate of the aircraft - and a later statement by French prosecutors who are heading the examination of the wreckage, which was less definitive.

The family members of MH370 passengers kneel in front of foreign media gathered outside the Beijing office of Malaysia Airlines.
Haze Fan | CNBC
The family members of MH370 passengers kneel in front of foreign media gathered outside the Beijing office of Malaysia Airlines.

At Friday's meeting, a large contingent of foreign media representatives were blocked by police from the airline's office at the cargo base.

This prompted some family members to refuse to go ahead with the meeting. Others who attended the meeting quickly walked out after the airline's staff gave them the same information as they had received yesterday from Najib's announcement.

No Malaysian government officials, nor Malaysia's ambassador to China, were in attendance.

Outside the meeting, family members bent on their knees in front of the media representatives, asking them for help in learning the fate of their family members.

The families also railed at police officers monitoring the gathering, with one elderly man saying: "Listen, you can shoot us, I won't back down."

Read MoreMH370 families question Malaysian evidence

A woman told CNBC: "I lost five of my relatives on the flight, three generations gone. Malaysia don't care about us at all. The police always come and try to stop me from causing trouble. My sister is on that flight- that's my sister. I won't bow down."

The meeting later restarted but a large group of families refused again to attend, and then halted again, with relatives leaving to instead protest in front of the Malaysian Embassy.

In the early hours of Thursday, Malaysian PM Najib had announced that an "international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370."

The fragment of wing had been flown to mainland France after being found last week covered in barnacles on a Reunion beach, and examined by a team of experts from the U.S. and Australia as well as France and Malaysia.

After Najib's announcement, Paris Prosecutor Serge Mackowiak said that there was a "very strong presumption" that the flaperon was from MH370.

He said this was based on technical data supplied by both the manufacturer and airline but gave no indication that experts had discovered a serial number or unique markings that would put the link beyond doubt

The expert team was due to continue their examination of the flaperon and a separate fragment of luggage, also found on Reunion, on Friday, he said.

Later on Thursday, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters that paint color and maintenance-record matches proved the wreckage was from MH370, adding: "We appreciate the French team and their support and respect their decision to continue with the verification."

Read MoreMalaysia confirms wing part washed up on beach is from missing MH370

He said investigators on Reunion had collected more aircraft debris, including a plane window and aluminum foil, but there was no confirmation they also belonged to the missing plane.

Malaysia has asked the governments of neighboring Mauritius and Madagascar to help widen the search area, he told reporters.

China's foreign ministry on Thursday warned Malaysia not to lessen the intensity of its MH370, now that some wreckage had been recovered.

— Reuters contributed to this report.