BEIJING March 24, 2014— -- The words "no survivors" triggered an explosion of grief and rage today in a Beijing hotel conference room filled with families of passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 who have been waiting 17 days for a sign their loved ones were alive.
The more than 100 families stopped listening to the televised news conference when the Malaysian prime minister said those two words. Screams and yelling erupted. Men smashed chairs and yelled, "Lies, lies."
Several women fainted and medics quickly attended to them, taking them away on stretchers.
"They killed everyone to cover it up," one sobbing woman wailed. "My children didn't die. They must have been hidden somewhere. How can I trust this government?"
As the families spilled out of the conference room in the Lido Hotel, several lashed out the media waiting for them, slapping at cameras and microphones.
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"Tell the world it is not true, it's wrong," one woman pleaded.
The Malaysian prime minister told the world today that flight MH370 is believed to have plunged into a remote part of the Indian Ocean. His comments left those in the Lido devastated.
One woman was hunched over on a stretcher wailing as a medic rubbed her back and asked her to try to calm down.
A Chinese woman told ABC News that she and her husband got emails in English that they could not expect any survivors.
At the Hotel Bangi Putrajaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the doomed flight originated, a one family emerged from a meeting with officials walking hand in hand and crying. Another group could be heard crying loudly from inside the hotel room.
Others were clearly distraught. One crying woman hit the wall and yelled something which could not be understood.
A woman who identified herself as a relative of the plane's pilot, but asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News, "We are sad. We are managing well because of our faith. We are prepared for the worst and are hoping for a miracle."
Jacquita Gomes, the wife of the plane's chief steward Patrick Gomes, tearfully told ABC News that a Malaysia Airlines representative showed up at her house today, where media cameras were parked outside, to tell her the news.
Sara Bajc, the girlfriend of Philip Wood, an IBM executive who was on board the plane, shared the message she said she received from Malaysia Airlines.
"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. "As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."
Shortly after Bajc asid she received the message, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a news conference where he said new satellite data revealed that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 "ended" in the south Indian Ocean.
"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Razak said.
The jet vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.