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."