BEIJING — Anxious families of missing passengers on board Flight 370 are forming a committee to liaise with Malaysia Airlines amid growing anger over a lack of information.
As the hunt for the Boeing 777 entered its 12th day on Wednesday with no sign of major progress, one of the relatives of the 153 Chinese nationals on board said a group of up to 30 would be chosen to represent them in facing the media and Malaysian officials.
“By forming a committee, we can unify our voices and only then will the [Malaysian] government attach importance to what we say," said the man, who declined to give his name.
The committee will also pass on important news and information to the rest of the families, he said.
Similar representative committees have been formed in the past, including in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the BP oil spill.
Anger over sparse information boiled over Wednesday at the headquarters of the increasingly deadlocked search operation.
Security guards carried out the distraught mother of a passenger from a briefing room where she had protested about a lack of transparency.
"They are just saying wait for information. Wait for information. We don't know how long we have to wait," cried the woman before she was whisked away from a massive media scrum.
On Tuesday, relatives in China became so angry that they threatened to go on hunger strike unless they got more information from Malaysian investigators.
Representatives sent to Beijing by Malaysian Airlines are very low-ranking and "lack basic respect for the families,” one of the China relatives told NBC News.
The atmosphere in Beijing was more subdued Wednesday as groups gathered to watch the afternoon news conference relayed on screens from Kuala Lumpur. Many appeared simply tired and tearful.
A woman whose husband was among the missing passengers said: "Before I had to depend on sleeping pills to sleep, but now, even after taking sleeping pills, I still could not sleep anymore."
The woman, who gave her family name as Liu, said: “The news of possible hijacking initially gave me hope that he is alive, but now this hope seems to be disappearing."
— Eric Baculinao, Eunice Yoon and Lin Mang
Reuters contributed to this report.