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Chinese relatives pray over lost Malaysian plane

PERTH, Australia (AP) -- Six weeks into the extensive search for the lost Malaysia Airlines plane without so much as a piece of debris yet found, several Chinese relatives met Friday to pray for spouses who never came home, while begging for answers that could end their misery of not knowing.

Candles burned on a table in the shape of a heart with the letters MH370 in the middle while about three dozen relatives held a prayer service at a hotel ballroom in Beijing where they have been meeting since the Boeing 777 mysteriously vanished. A banner behind them read in Chinese: "Husband, wife, come home soon."

"There are different relationships touched by grief, from children, to parents, to siblings, and now we wanted spouses to have a chance to release their feelings," said Jack Song, a representative for the relatives. Many of those gathered sobbed as gentle music played and a microphone was passed around for anyone who wished to speak.

Thousands of miles away, off the western coast of Australia, aircraft, ships and a robotic submarine continued searching for the aircraft that disappeared with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, six weeks ago on Saturday.

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 sub was scanning the seabed with sonar to find anything that could resemble wreckage. It has searched 110 square kilometers (42 square miles) of the silt-covered seabed but has found nothing so far, the search coordination center said.

On Thursday, officials said oil samples taken from a slick near the underwater search area were not related to the plane. The underwater search was narrowed to that area because of signals believed to be emanating from the jet's black boxes. The sounds were last detected April 8, about the time the batteries on the beacons from the all-important flight data and cockpit recorders would have failed.

Radar and satellite data show the plane flew far off-course and would have run out of fuel in the remote section of the Indian Ocean where the search has been focused.

The underwater hunt is being complicated by the depth of the largely unexplored sea floor in an untraveled part of the ocean. The unmanned submarine dived to 4,695 meters (15,404 feet) during its fourth search mission, beyond its recommended limit of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet), according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. That could risk the equipment, but it is being closely monitored.

The search coordination center has said the search for floating debris on the surface will continue at least into next week. On Friday, 11 planes and 12 ships searched across about 52,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles) of sea. The U.S. alone has flown 35 missions, racking up 319 hours of flight time over nearly 450,000 nautical miles of ocean, according to the 7th Fleet.

Some families refuse to believe the aircraft crashed into the sea and have instead denounced the search effort as a cover-up.

"We believe the plane and our relatives are still alive. Bring them home, that's all we ask," said one of the Chinese relatives, who would only give his surname, Zhang. "The only way there could be no evidence, no debris is if the plane landed intact."

He and several other family members marched from the prayer service to a local park and held a brief sit-in on Friday.

For other waiting families, each day with no news brings more tortuous doubts as they try to go on living without knowing why their relatives didn't come home.

"We ask that they find the plane, find our loved ones, live or dead, give us something," Song said. "Until the evidence is presented, we have a right to question."

Chinese Relatives of Passengers on Missing Plane Vent Their Fury

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
blkcontessa April 19 2014 at 1:10 AM

Something is very wrong about this whole thing..its just terrible,,

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1 reply
paintedthetown blkcontessa April 19 2014 at 7:24 AM

what 'whole thing'?

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1 reply
paintedthetown paintedthetown April 19 2014 at 7:24 AM

oooooooooo you mean the plane thing? it's on fantasy island :) or gilligans island LOLOL

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rohrscheibcroh April 18 2014 at 3:39 PM

I love the glare on the mans face in the picture if his eye could talk he would be saying what I am thinking . You low life media #@%%

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1 reply
paulaflyhigh rohrscheibcroh April 18 2014 at 4:50 PM

rohrscheibcroh, Please tell us what you are thinking. Thanks.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
tntlimited April 19 2014 at 1:02 AM

I believe that the missing plane crashed into the gulf of Thailand, not far
from its last reported position.

The evidence for that scenario seems stronger than the evidence that it
is somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

(1) The plane was last confirmed off the coast of Malaysia and entering
the gulf of Thailand when it disappeared.
(2) Two oil slicks were spotted in that general area.
(3) There was a seismic event located in that same general area about
the time the plane disappeared.
(4) An oil rig worker named Mike McKay spotted a burning aircraft
high in the air and about 50 to 70 miles away, that was near the same
flight path, and about the same time at night that flight MH 370

This is highly credible evidence that needs further investigation by
the authorities that are searching for this craft. I firmly believe that
this missing airplane will be eventually be found in the gulf of Thailand...

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3 replies
AOL9.7 April 18 2014 at 2:19 PM

Those who are mourning, blessings to them.

Until we have walked in their shoes.....

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SummerSun April 18 2014 at 3:37 PM

I won`t pretend that I know how planes operates or what all can go wrong with them but I do wonder if it was just a mechanical problem then why didn`t the pilot or co-pilot radio it in and if it was a terrorist attack then why hasn`t anyone come forth making brags.Most terrorists seems to want others to know it was them especially if they`ve accomplished their goal but maybe they are enjoying watching these families suffer with "not knowing".Either way I hope they do find the plane so these families can at least get some closure,prayers for them all!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Dorie Davis April 18 2014 at 5:21 PM

At this point, I truly do not know...in other words; I AM CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT TRULY HAPPENED!!

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1 reply
rreggaeredkc Dorie Davis April 18 2014 at 6:58 PM

None of us know Doris and I very much appreciated your comment! There is certainly no lack of theories. I don't know either.

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Trigger806 April 18 2014 at 10:14 PM

hard to say,if they are under water i dont think they would still be alive,the only way they could still be alive if they were kidnapped

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rob4ever22 April 18 2014 at 6:55 PM

"Grief never ends but it changes. It's a passage...not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of Faith. It is...the price of Love."

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2 replies
get it too go rob4ever22 April 18 2014 at 8:22 PM

Well said, thank you.

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SumBreezeHuh rob4ever22 April 18 2014 at 9:10 PM

nice :)

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Shelonia April 18 2014 at 2:54 PM

Sad situation, but we want the plane found! We need closure!

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bradbarb69 April 18 2014 at 2:57 PM

Missed apportunity.Malaysian ATC's should have declared a "technical MayDay" when transponder contact was lost.This could have alerted other radar equipped countries to pay a little more attention to possible "bogey" aircraft.Although not mandatory,they should have done this.Other countries radars should have picked this up.Why they did not I can't say.But Malaysia could have had a little more concern

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2 replies
bradbarb69 bradbarb69 April 18 2014 at 3:02 PM

I mean OPPORTUNITY for the grammar police

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1 reply
reakemble bradbarb69 April 18 2014 at 3:32 PM

You mean there's not an app for that?...LOL.. I am guilty of being a member of the grammar police, but I know a typo when I see one!

Flag 0 rate up
millstv8 bradbarb69 April 18 2014 at 3:24 PM

Hindsight is always 20/20.

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