Families of passengers who were on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 protested Thursday in disbelief and anger following an announcement from Malaysia's prime minister that wreckage found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean was from the missing plane. The demonstration attracted about a dozen family members of passengers outside one of the airline's Beijing offices, some holding signs expressing their skepticism of the investigation.
"One piece of debris does not mean anything," one woman said in a video posted by the Telegraph. "This is a political conspiracy." Another woman said family members of victims should be allowed to go to Reunion Island to help identify their loved ones' belongings if the prime minister's claims were true.
"I don't believe this latest information about the plane. They have been lying to us from the beginning," said Zhang Yongli, whose daughter was on the doomed flight. "I know my daughter is out there, but they won't tell us the truth."
Families of passengers aboard Flight 370 have been fiercely critical of the handling of the investigation since it began more than a year ago, as they complained that officials failed to adequately update them on the search for the missing plane. No evidence of the plane had been found until last week, when debris was discovered on the shore of Reunion Island. Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said early Thursday that the initial debris found -- a wing part called a flaperon -- was from the missing jet.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 5, 2015
The Malaysian airliner went missing in March 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, and prompted a multinational search. There were several reports of debris sightings in the weeks following the disappearance, but none of those turned out to be credible. Some families held out hope that those on board would eventually return.
For many, the recent findings have rekindled their desire to understand why the plane diverted from its route and disappeared last year, as they insisted the investigation remained far from complete.
“It’s not the end," Jacquita Gonzales, who lost her husband. Patrick Gomes, a flight attendant, told Reuters. "Although they found something, you know, it’s not the end. They still need to find the whole plane and our spouses as well. We still want them back."