Breaking News: Plane carrying 239 people disappears •Passengers from 14 countries (Plus list of countries)

Posted by News Express | 8 March 2014 | 3,514 times

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A passenger plane with 239 people on its way to China has disappeared, sparking fears about the fate of all on board. Search and rescue teams are making frantic efforts to locate the aircraft.

The plane operated by Malaysian Airlines was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members. Flight MH370, which was heading for Beijing, lost contact with the Subang air traffic control near Kuala Lumpur at 2.40am local time (18.40 GMT Friday).

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am local time (16:41 GMT Friday) and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30am local time (22:30 GMT Friday).

An official media statement released this morning by Malaysia Airlines reads:

“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:-

        China — 152 plus 1 infant

        Malaysia — 38

        Indonesia — 12

        Australia — 7

        France — 3

        United States of America — 3 plus 1 infant

        New Zealand – 2

        Ukraine – 2

        Canada – 2

        Russia – 1

        Italy – 1

        Taiwan – 1

        Netherlands – 1

        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 18,365 hours. 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.

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

Source: News Express

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