A compensation hearing began in Beijing Monday for family members and relatives of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared almost a decade ago. At the same time, families are also calling for a renewed search for the passenger jet.
Flight MH370 was on a planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Malaysia, carrying 239 passengers, mostly from China, when it veered off course and disappeared over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014.
Family members of those on board have demanded compensation from Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce and Allianz insurance group among others.
According to Chinese state media more than 40 relatives are seeking between $1.4 and $11.2 million each in compensation.
More than 110 other passengers have already reached settlements for much less, with families receiving around $300,000-$400,000, according to Chinese state media.
There was no immediate comment from the court on the first day of the hearing or from the companies involved in the suit. The compensation hearing is expected to continue until mid-December.
Outside Chaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing there was a heavy police presence ahead of the hearing, with reporters unable to talk to any family members before the case began.
Family members have also been calling for the reopening of the search for the flight, as well as an investigation into what caused the disappearance.
Relatives held signs outside of the court that read, "resume the search" and "re-establish an international investigation team."
Many family members said resumption of the investigation, as well as the providing of psychological counseling, would be more important than monetary compensation.
Seventy-one-year-old Bao Lanfang lost her son and daughter-in-law on board the crash. She told Reuters that her husband died recently after suffering severe depression because of the incident.
“My mother died last year and she brought up my son. Until the very end I hid from her what really happened to him,” Bao said.
Some Information in this report was taken from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France Presse