Malaysian Airlines MH 370 went missing on 8 March 2014. There were 270 passengers and crew on the plane.
A crisis management expert told me that the handling of the crisis during the first few days was a disaster. He explained the difficulties that had to be faced by the crisis team - insufficient information, unreliable information, the need to decide on what can or cannot be released and many other issues.
Daily briefings were given to the family members and to the media. The responsible officials took and answered questions. The ad-hoc answers, which were outside of the official scripts, sometimes became the source of further confusion and distrust.
The families of the missing persons on the plane were most distraught and emotional. They wanted to know what was happening and what was being done to locate the plane and to save the lives of the passengers. They did not get answers that they like to hear.
Later, the handling become more professional, as a crisis management expert must have been called. Still, the family members felt that information was being withheld and that wrong information was being given to them deliberately. There was a high level of distrust.
I wish to share my perspective about the underlying challenges and how they could be handled better.