Relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 pray during a candlelight vigil for their loved ones at a hotel in Beijing on April 8, 2014. Picture: Andy Wong

Kuala Lumpur - Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 held a tearful vigil in Beijing in the early hours of Tuesday to mark one month since contact with the plane was lost.

Dozens of family members placed candles in the shape of a heart surrounding an airplane on the carpeted floor of the capital's Lido hotel.

They sat in a circle around the candles, with some audibly wailing while others remained silent or pressed their palms together in gestures of prayer.

“We've been waiting and holding on here for already 31 days,” said Steve Wang, one of the relatives.

“Don't cry anymore. Don't hurt anymore. Don't despair. Don't feel lost,” he counselled others who gathered for the vigil.

There is still no proof of what happened to the plane, but an intensive international search is now focused on the southern Indian Ocean off Australia, where possible ping signals have been detected, potentially emanating from the plane's “black box” flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

About two-thirds of the 239 people on board were Chinese. - AFP