Authorities in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have announced they are considering the plane "lost" with no survivors.
Families have been told to assume "none on board have survived." The families of the passengers and crew were called to meetings before the prime minister's news conference to be informed of the news.
Depending on the location of these families, they were informed in various manners, including in person, via a phone call, emails or even by text message.
In a text message sent to Chinese families of passengers, Malaysia Airlines revealed the following:
"We deeply regret that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived. As you will hear in the next hour, from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean."
- Monday's full statement from Malaysia Airlines can be read here.
- Stone-Faced Families Told All Aboard Were 'Lost'
- NBC News: Missing MH370 'Ended' in Indian Ocean, Malaysia's PM Says
The message was reiterated by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s shortly after the release of the text message, saying the flight is believed to have ended in the Indian Ocean.
During the news conference, Razak said informing families of this news was heartbreaking.
"We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation. Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development. For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking. I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy and allow them the space they need at this very difficult time."
Family of North Texas Passenger Remembers Philip Wood
The family of North Texas native Philip Wood shared a message with supporters through their Finding Philip Wood Twitter account.
Hurts hurting. Lift all loved ones of MH370 w/ your thoughts & prayers. Thank U for your support & for being our inspiration. #FindPhilipWood
— Finding Philip Wood (@FindPhilipWood) March 24, 2014
They shared a similar message on their Facebook page:
Our collective hearts are hurting now. Please lift all the loved ones of MH370 with your good thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your continued support and for being our inspiration.
In a conversation with NBC 5 Monday afternoon, Wood's brother Tom said he enjoyed every second he was able to spend with his brother but will now try to stay strong for his parents and family.
“I told my parents over lunch, this sounds weird, but I just, I am sorry you have lost your baby,” said Tom Wood.
For almost three weeks, they have waited to find out about the plane their son was on.
“We have been praying for some answers, so this is, you know, it is not the answer we wanted but it is an answer,” added Wood.
Wood thinks his parents found out from Phillip's girlfriend Monday morning. Now they hope they will find the black box, and get more information about what happened on the flight.
“Throughout all this I thought about him as a guy who was leading them as they were surviving,” added Wood.
He thinks it will be a long time before they have all the answers. But for now, Tom will continue to be strong for everyone around him, and remember a brother who he said was a big influence on his life.
“Phil was a special guy and the world is little less bright without him. A whole lot less bright without Phil.” added Tom Wood.
The search for the flight's black boxes continues, despite the official belief of the flight ending in the Indian Ocean.
In the latest sighting of possible debris, an Australian search plane spotted Monday an "orange rectangular object" and a "gray or green circular object."
NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.