A Malaysian official met today with relatives of passengers who were aboard the missing jetliner and discussed ways of providing them with financial assistance, as an unmanned submarine continued to search for any signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Hamzah Zainuddin met with the passengers' relatives in Kuala Lumpur to talk about where to go next. Financial assistance was discussed and family members were urged to submit a plan for consideration. He declined to elaborate further, but said a fund could possibly be set up by the government or Malaysia Airlines.
"We realize this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board," said Zainuddin, who heads a committee overseeing the needs of the next of kin. "No words can describe the pain they must be going through. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world." He added that he would soon visit Beijing to shore up bilateral relations between Malaysia and China. After nearly a week of sweeping the bottom of the ocean with sonar, the unmanned sub began its eighth mission today. The yellow device has already covered about half of its focused search area, but has yet to uncover any substantive clues. (Read more Malaysia Airlines stories.)