Malaysia Airlines reportedly sent a text message to the relatives of the 239 people on board the missing plane to notify them that MH370 is likely lost in the Indian Ocean and that everyone on board is presumed dead.
Adrienne Mong, who works for NBC News in London, tweeted a screenshot of the message:
The families were also told of the new developments during a meeting at a Beijing hotel. Most of the plane’s passengers were Chinese. Relatives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were also called into a meeting to hear the news.
The text went out before families were briefed by officials, according to CNN assignment editor Stephanie Gallman.
Reporters are tweeting grim descriptions of the relatives’ reactions to the news:
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Monday that authorities are assuming beyond a reasonable doubt that the missing plane has been lost in the southern Indian Ocean.
Families of the MH370 passengers are taking charter flights to Australia tonight, according to Sky News.
Both Chinese and Australian aircraft have spotted possible debris in the Indian Ocean. The Boeing 777 plane went missing on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
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