MH370 Compensation Hearings Begin: Families Seek Answers and Justice

On Monday, a court in Beijing initiated hearings to determine compensation for the Chinese kin of passengers aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This flight, which had over 150 Chinese passengers and was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, mysteriously disappeared over the Indian Ocean nearly ten years ago on March 8, 2014. 


The possibility of the plane being intentionally diverted was not dismissed by Malaysian investigators, and debris either confirmed or suspected to be from the plane has been found along the African coast and on Indian Ocean islands. The passengers' families are seeking compensation from several parties including Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, and Allianz Insurance Group. 

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While the court has not disclosed any case details, state media reports suggest that over 40 relatives are seeking compensation ranging from 10 million to 80 million yuan ($1.4 million to $11.2 million) each. No immediate comments were received from Malaysia Airlines, Rolls-Royce, Allianz, or Boeing. Jiang Hui, a representative for the grieving families, stated that they were left with no option but to seek legal recourse for answers from Malaysia Airlines. 


Outside the Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing, where the hearing took place, there was a significant police presence. After the hearing, some relatives expressed their desire for the search to be resumed and for Malaysia Airlines to communicate directly with them and provide psychological counseling. They emphasized that these demands were more important than financial compensation. Bao Lanfang, a 71-year-old Beijing resident who lost her son and daughter-in-law on the flight, shared her personal tragedy, revealing that her husband had recently passed away due to severe depression caused by the incident. In March, another group of relatives appealed to the Malaysian government to permit U.S. seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity to conduct a new search for the missing plane.

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