A Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people (227 passengers, 12 crew members) who were traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has gone missing after losing contact with Air Traffic Control. The belief is that the Boeing 777-200 plane ran out of fuel and now a search and rescue operation is underway.
Retired American Airlines Captain Jim Tilmon said “It doesn’t sound very good.” Yet, noted that the route for the most part is overland meaning that there is plenty of opportunities to communicate with the flight crew by antennae, radar and radios. He went on to say “I’m trying to come up with every scenario that I could just to explain this away, but I haven’t been very successful.”
Boeing has tweeted this:
We’re closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370. Our thoughts are with everyone on board.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) March 8, 2014
A report from Chinese State TV said “there had not been any reports received yet about any aircraft crashed in Chinese waters.” Also, the State News Agency stated “radar contact with the flight was lost while it was in Vietnamese airspace.”
Tuoi Tre has reported that the Vietnamese Navy confirmed that the plane did crash into the ocean. Military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc Island. If the plane did crash it will mark the second time in less than a year that a Boeing 777 has been involved in a fatal accident as of now Malaysia Airlines has not confirmed nor denied that the plane did crash.
The CEO of Malaysia Airlines posted this on Facebook:
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:-
15. China – 152 plus 1 infant
16. Malaysia – 38
17. Indonesia – 12
18. Australia – 7
19. France – 3
20. United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant
21. New Zealand – 2
22. Ukraine – 2
23. Canada – 2
24. Russia – 1
25. Italy – 1
26. Taiwan – 1
27. Netherlands – 1
28. 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/1feKrsz for updates.
Next-of-kin may head to the Support Facility Building at KLIA’s South Support Zone. For directions, call 03 8787 1269.”