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Malaysia Airlines Flight Carrying 239 Goes Missing on Way to Beijing

Malaysia Airlines Flight Carrying 239 Goes Missing on Way to BeijingS

At about 1:40 pm EST, a passenger jet flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared from radar screens and lost radio contact with air traffic control. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was scheduled to land four hours later, was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.

“Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.”

The airline is in the process of contacting family members of the passengers and crew, 160 of whom were from China; the other 79 were from 12 different countries.

Malaysia Airlines vice president of operations told CNN that, at the time it went missing, the Boeing 777 had about seven hours of fuel left, which means it would have run out by 8:45 pm EST.

UPDATE 11:52 PM: A Vietnamese navy admiral has reportedly confirmed that the plane crashed. From Yahoo News:

Tuoi Tre, a leading daily in Vietnam, reports that the Vietnamese Navy has confirmed the plane crashed into the ocean. According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, Commander of the Region 5, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc island.

Malaysia Airlines Flight Carrying 239 Goes Missing on Way to BeijingS

[A woman believed to be one of the passenger’s relatives at the Beijing Airport. Photo via Getty]

UPDATE 10:19 PM: Four Americans, including one infant, were onboard the flight, according to a Malaysia Airlines official. From the airline’s most recent statement:

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 pax plus 1 infant
New Zealand – 2
Ukraine – 2
Canada – 2
Russia – 1
Italy – 1
Taiwan – 1
Netherlands – 1
Austria – 1

UPDATE 9:52 PM: According to a vice president at Malaysia Airlines, there were no distress calls or problems before the plane vanished from radars at 35,000 feet.

From James Fallow at The Atlantic (UPDATE: As commenter StegoToys noted, Flight Aware’s coverage usually ends in about the same place for all flights, making it difficult to tell exactly where the plane lost contact):

The most illuminating information I have seen so far is this log from Flight Aware. It shows that the airplane had leveled off at 35,000 feet — and then suddenly was not transmitting any more information about its location, speed, altitude, or rate of climb or descent.

Malaysia Airlines Flight Carrying 239 Goes Missing on Way to BeijingS

UPDATE 9:16 PM: The flight disappeared from radar in Vietnam-controlled airspace, according to China’s Xinhua News.

Flight #MH370 disappeared from Flightradar24 at 17.19UTC time between Malaysia and Vietnam pic.twitter.com/BtmTuQGBq6

— Flightradar24.com (@flightradar24) March 8, 2014

Radar shows no storm activity in Kuala Lumpur area where MH370 lost contact pic.twitter.com/ylHnDyHV5V

— Jon Passantino (@passantino) March 8, 2014

Here’s a screen shot of the flight’s path from FlightAware:

Malaysia Airlines Flight Carrying 239 Goes Missing on Way to Beijing

[Image via AP]

Written by Lewis Shaw

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