Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Families informed of passengers' fate ahead of official announcement

Distressing scenes of absolute anguish have broken out at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, after relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 received the news that the plane had ended in the Indian Ocean.

Family members filed sombrely into the hotel's conference room after being told to gather urgently at the hotel for a news update.

Minutes later, many burst out of the room openly wailing, some collapsing on the floor and needing to be held up by paramedics and police at the scene.

One man threw himself down an escalator and refused to get up, having to be dragged onto his feet by reporters.

Loud wailing and sobbing could be heard from outside the room as a steady stream of paramedics brought in stretchers.

Earlier, it is understood families had received text messages from authorities informing that "we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived ... we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."

For more than two weeks, these family members have come to this hotel daily for news updates, hanging on to every last bit hope.

Tonight, that has been taken away.

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