A Malaysian Airlines flight bound for Beijing lost all contact with traffic control at 2:40 a.m. Malaysia time on March 8. Search and rescue is already under way, but the plane with 239 on-board has yet to be found.
Rescue efforts continue both on the sea and in the air, with several countries having dispatched ships and aircraft trying to locate the missing Boeing 777 jet.
It’s been confirmed that two of the passengers had boarded the plane using stolen passports. An Austrian and an Italian man on the passenger list were both reported as not being on the plane. Both passports were stolen in Thailand. The U.S. has sent a special FBI task force to look into any possibilities of a terrorist attack.
Malaysian Airlines confirmed in a press release the exact coordinates where the plane lost contact.
A map showing where the plane lost contact with traffic control.
China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the U.S. and the Phillipines are all contributing to search efforts, according to Malaysian Minister of Transport, Hishamuddin Hussein. Hussein also denied earlier reports of a confirmed plane crash.
Both Vietnamese and Chinese air traffic control say the plane never made contact and did not enter their airspace.
The flight was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. MYT and took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m.. The plane disappeared from radar less than two hours after take-off at 2:30 a.m., and no distress signal was sent by the pilots.
According to the airline’, a total of 12 crew, all Malaysian and 227 passengers are on board from 14 countries — including two Canadians.
A tweet sent by Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) nearly 12 hours after their first press release confirming the incident.
Two infants are among the passengers, one Chinese and one American. The passenger manifest has been released by Malaysia Airlines.
A team of workers were sent by Malaysia Airlines to Beijing Airport to attend to relatives of the passengers.