JET VANISHES: 4 Americans among 239 on Missing Malaysia Airlines - KMSP-TV

JET VANISHES: 4 Americans among 239 on Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

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Photo: Malaysia Airlines Photo: Malaysia Airlines

UPDATE [9:20 PM PST]: Tuoi Tre, a leading daily in Vietnam, reports that the Vietnamese Navy has confirmed the plane crashed into the ocean.  According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, Commander of the Region 5, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc island.

UPDATE (3/07/14 8PM PST) China's state media say Vietnamese authorities have detected signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

The Xinhua News Agency, citing a local Vietnamese media report, says a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that the signals have been detected from the plane from about 220 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Vietnam's southernmost coastal province of Ca Mau.

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[‪#‎MASalert‬] Statement By Our Group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya on MH370 Incident at the Press Conference. Released at 11.00am/8 Mar 2014 MY Local Time

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are deeply saddened this morning with the news on MH370.

Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today.

There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed at Nanming.

We are working to verify the authenticity of the report and others.

Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

It departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing.

The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time.

The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.

The passengers were of 14 different nationalities - citizens from:-

1. China – 152 plus 1 infant
2. Malaysia - 38
3. Indonesia - 12
4. Australia - 7
5. France - 3
6. United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant
7. New Zealand - 2
8. Ukraine - 2
9. Canada - 2
10. Russia - 1
11. Italy - 1
12. Taiwan - 1
13. Netherlands - 1
14. Austria - 1

This flight was a code share with China Southern Airlines.

We are working with authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.

Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.

The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total flying hours of 18,365hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981.

First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, a Malaysian, is aged 27. He has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.

Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.

The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. The public may contact +603 7884 1234. For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.

Please also log on to http://bit.ly/1feKrJ0 for updates.

Next-of-kin may head to the Support Facility Building at KLIA's South Support Zone. For directions, call 03 8787 1269.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located the jetliner several hours later.

The plane lost communication two hours into the flight in Vietnam's airspace at 1:20 a.m. (18:20 GMT Friday), China's state news agency said. The radar signal also was lost, Xinhua reported.

Fuad Sharuji, Malaysian Airlines' vice president of operations control, told CNN that the plane was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,670 meters) and that the pilots reported no problem with the aircraft. He said that the aircraft's last communication was over the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.

Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday (16:41 GMT Friday) and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday (22:30 GMT Friday), Malaysia Airlines said.

The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said. Passengers were from at least 12 countries, including 152 from China, seven Australians and four Americans.

The airline said it was working with authorities who activated their search and rescue teams to locate the aircraft. The route would take the aircraft from Malaysia across to Vietnam and China.

"Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew. Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members," he added.

All countries in the possible flight path of the missing aircraft were performing a "communications and radio search", said John Andrews, deputy chief of the Philippines civil aviation agency.

At Beijing's airport, Zhai Le was waiting for her friends, a couple, who were on their way back to the Chinese capital on the flight. She said she was very concerned because she hadn't been able to reach them.

Airport authorites posted a written notice asking relatives and friends of passengers to gather to a hotel about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the airport to wait for further information, and provided a shuttle bus service.

Another woman wept aboard the shuttle bus while talking by mobile phone, " They want us to go to the hotel. It cannot be good!"

Malaysia Airlines last fatal incident was in 1995, when one its planes crashed near the Malaysian city of Tawau, killing 34 people.

Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200 jets in its fleet of about 100 planes. The state-owned carrier last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss.

The 777 had not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the Asiana crash in San Francisco in July 2013. All 16 crew members survived, but thee of the 291 passengers, all teenage girls from China, were killed.

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