Malaysia Airlines passenger plane with 239 people on board has just lost contact with the ground while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, a 3700 km trip! (SEE BELOW PLAYBACK OF FLIGHT MH370)
The company announced that Flight MH370 (MAS370) vanished off radars Saturday at 2:40 am local time (6:40 p.m. GMT Friday).
The missing aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, took off in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday at midnight (0:31 a.m.), and was scheduled for landing in Beijing at 6:30 am local time (10:30 p.m. GMT Friday).
“Malaysia Airlines is at this point working closely with the authorities who have deployed search and rescue teams to find the plane,” the flight operator said.
The plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members lost communication with air traffic controllers while 2 hours into the flight, therefore according to the flight pattern it went missing either somewhere above Vietnam/China or even worse, above the ocean’s waters. If the aircraft crashed into the water then the search operations will be increasingly more difficult, a situation that is reminiscent of the dramatic case of Air France Flight AF447 (Airbus A330-203) which crashed over the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
Flight MH370 Approximate Whereabouts:
Vietnam’s government website revealed an official declaration stating that the Malaysian plane has gone missing in Vietnamese airspace.
“The plane lost contact in Ca Mau province airspace before it had entered contact with Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control,” the statement read.
The aircraft was supposed to transfer to Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control at 17:22 GMT but never appeared, the statement said, citing a senior Ministry of Defense official.
MH370 CRASH CONFIRMATION: According to Vietnamese Navy officer, the plane fell from the sky somewhere between Vietnam and Malaysia and plunged into the sea about 250 km off Tho Chu Island in Kien Giang Province.
UPDATE: According to media reports citing airline’s website, passengers of 14 different nationalities were on the flight including 153 Chinese nationals. Flight MH-370 was a Boeing with 7 hours of fuel.
COUNTRY NATIONALS AND NUMBERS: Passengers of 14 different nationalities from:
1. China – 152 plus 1 infant
2. Malaysia – 38
3. Indonesia – 12
4. Australia – 6
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
Video: Malaysia Airlines plane went missing, possibly crashing over Vietnam or into South China Sea (PLAYBACK OF FLIGHT MH-370 (MA-S370))
Relatives in despair as Malaysia Airline’s Flight MH370 disappears