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BEIJING — More than 100 relatives of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 demanded Friday that officials retract their conclusion that everyone on the aircraft died.

"We don't accept it. As a matter of fact, we are demanding the statement to be retracted," said Zhang Qian, whose husband was on the plane.

Malaysia declared Flight 370 an accident Thursday, paving the way for compensation claims to begin. Earlier this week, in anticipation of the Malaysian statement, 110 members in a group of 115 relatives voted during a mobile phone group chat to demand Malaysia refrain from making any announcement.

Jiang Hui, whose mother was a passenger, said the announcement was based on no new facts. "We not only demand the Malaysian government retract the statement, but also issue an apology," Jiang said. "That’s the wish of the majority of family members."

Relatives were unmoved by the argument that the declaration paves the way for compensation claims.

"I feel like I am giving it all up if we start talking about compensation," Zhang said. "We don't need compensation, and we would be more than glad not to ask for a dime if my husband comes back to me."


- The Associated Press