World Amazing Stuff: Malaysian Airlines missing with 239 people

Malaysian Airlines missing with 239 people

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning at 2:40am. It had been expected to land in Beijing, China at 06:30am. The contact was lost at 2:40 Saturday early morning, about two hours after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the carrier’s CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane travelling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China with 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members. Passengers were from 14 countries, including 153 from China, 38 from Malaysia, seven Australians and four Americans.

The plane went off the radar south of Vietnam, according to a statement on the Vietnamese government website.

Malaysia Airlines said it was "currently working with the 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."

In a brief press conference on Saturday, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari  Yahya said the company was still working to establish the location of the plane. He said the company was "deeply saddened" at the situation and that it would provide regular updates.

Malaysia Airlines has a good safety record. It’s worst-ever crash occurred in 1977, when 93 passengers and 7 crew perished in a hijacking and subsequent crash in southern Malaysia. The pilot of MH370 was Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who had flown for the airline since 1981, the carrier said. The plane was more than 11 years old.