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Malaysia Airlines Reports Lost Contact with Aircraft with 239 Souls AboardBonnie King Salem-News.com
Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Fuad Sharuji told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the company has “no idea” where Malaysia 370 may be.
(SALEM) - Breaking news out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines announced over Facebook that Subang air traffic control ‘lost contact’ with flight MH370 at 2:40am local time on March 8 (GMT +8 hours), about two hours after takeoff from the Malaysian capital. At this point, the carrier is reporting there was no distress call.
The airline has confirmed the last point of contact with the airplane was 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu over South China Sea.
The Boeing 777-200ER, registered 9M-MRO, was operating Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Beijing (PEK), and was due to land a Beijing at 6:30am local time the same day. The aircraft was carrying 227 passengers and twelve crew members, for a total of 239 people onboard.
The captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, joined the airline in 1981, and had logged 18,365 flying hours. The first officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, joined in 2007 and had 2,763 hours logged. Both are Malaysian.
The passengers comprised 14 different nationalities, including 153 total Chinese (including one infant), 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, 7 Australians, 3 French, and 4 total Americans (including one infant), according to CCTV.
Overnight weather in Kampung Subang, Malaysia was reported as cloudy, but precipitation-free. China’s Xinhua news agency first reported that radar contact was lost with MH370 in Vietnamese-controlled airspace, though that information was disputed. At 8:28PM EST, the People’s Republic of China reported that MH370 did not enter Chinese airspace or make contact with Chinese controllers.
There have been no confirmed sightings of the aircraft, airborne or otherwise. However, it is now six hours overdue into Beijing, and would no longer have fuel at this point.
At this time, a crash is presumed. If correct, this would be only the third hull loss of a Boeing 777 aircraft, after the British Airways crash at London-Heathrow in 2009 and the Asiana crash in San Francisco last year.
China, Malaysia, and Vietnam are conducting a joint rescue operation which is currently underway, according to the airline.
About two hours ago, Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Fuad Sharuji told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the company has “no idea” where Malaysia 370 may be.
Malaysia Airline System CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya issued a statement, offering “thoughts and prayers” for affected passengers and families. Malaysia also reports they are notifying next-of-kin. Statement is reprinted in its entirety below.
In over forty years of operation, Malaysia aircraft had only been involved in two fatal accidents prior to today. In 1977, flight 653, a Boeing 737-200, was hijacked and crashed near the village of Tanjung Kupang, killing 100. In 1995, a Malaysia Fokker 50 crashed on approach to Tawau, Borneo, killing 34.
This is a breaking story. We will update this information as it comes forward.
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