NBC News   |  March 24, 2014

'Stone-Faced' Families Told All Aboard Were 'Lost'

The families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines jet were sent text messages telling them that the plane has been "lost." NBC News' Keir Simmons reports.

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>> guthrie: and they took a dramatic step this morning, sending a text message to the families of those aboard that flight, saying that they have concluded the flight is gone and that all aboard were lost. nbc´s keir simmons is in kuala lumpur . he´s been talking with families throughout this ordeal. keir, good morning. what can you tell us?

>> simmons: hey, savannah. well, it´s difficult to put into words what we just watched here. behind me, you can see some journalists but also a gathering of some families who have loved ones on board flight 370. and they just sat quietly here, watching the prime minister make his statement. a really noble show of grace by them, to be honest. they were stone-faced, just watching, transfixed by what the prime minister had to say. and, of course, remember, what they are watching is the prime minister making announcement that relates to their son -- their 29-year-old son -- who was on flight 370, heading to beijing -- a son who has a daughter and a wife. and they just had to sit here and watch this. and as you were hearing earlier, we saw here at this hotel where some of the families are staying -- we saw them, in the buildup to this, on their phones, receiving that text message , that e-mail to let them know that this news was going to happen. and i guess the malaysians have said that they wanted to try and keep the families informed, but pretty stunning for them to get a text message or an e-mail telling them that news. as tom said, the text message , we´re told, certainly to the chinese families, said, "we deeply regret that we have to assume "beyond any reasonable doubt that mh370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived." so very, very difficult scenes here -- the families sitting, watching, hearing their prime minister make that announcement on national television, guys.

>> guthrie: keir simmons with the families in kuala lumpur . thank you.