Joined: 19 February 2008
UPDATE [6:45pm]: Chinese relatives of passengers are furious at Malaysia Airlines for keeping them in the dark.
"There's no one from the company here, we can't find a single person. They've just shut us in this room and told us to wait," said one middle-aged man, who declined to give his name.
Another relative, trying to evade a throng of reporters, muttered: "They're treating us worse than dogs." Full story here.
UPDATE [6:24pm]: No sign of wreckage was found off the coast of Malaysia. Earlier, an orange speck was seen where the last signal came from, but a vessel despatched to the location reported that it was nothing. Full story here.
Kuching Police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad said his niece was a passenger on the MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Full story here.
UPDATE [6:15pm]: Countries across South-East Asia have launched air and sea search operations to find the missing MH370 plane. It's exact location remains a mystery as it relayed no distress signal, indications of rough weather, or other signs of trouble. Full story here.
Mohd Lokman Hamid, the younger brother of passengers Norli Akmar Hamid said that he only found out about the news via Facebook. Full story here (Malay).
UPDATE [4:41pm]: Tempers flare. AFP reports that an elderly man, believed to be a family member of one of the passengers of flight MH370, punched a cameraman as he was trying to film events at the Beijing airport.
In Malaysia, 56-year-old Hamid Ramlan fears the worst as he awaits news on the fate of his daughter and son-in-law, who were both on the flight. Full story here.
UPDATE [4:33pm]: Malaysia Airlines CEO says 80 percent of the family members of the people on board flight MH370 have been contacted. Full story here.
Meanwhile, acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein that the authorities were slow to report on the missing Malaysia Airlines place. Read his response here.
UPDATE [3:39pm]: 68-year-old Hajjah Puteh Haji Idris, from Kajang, is in tears. Her daughter-in-law, Nor Fadzillah Mat Rahim, 37, was on flight MH370. Hajjah Puteh received a call from MAS at 6.30am.
" My daughter-in-law was traveling to Beijing for work. She has four kids and I pray that she is safe. She is the best daughter-in-law," she said.
Nor Fadzillah's husband will be at the airport at 6pm to assist in search and rescue.
Members of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Organisation, seen dressed in white pants and dark blue shirts, have been going in and out of the holding area. One member said they were providing counseling for the grief-stricken families.
UPDATE [3:03pm]: At KLIA, the brother of a passenger says relatives are being told to bring a valid passport because they need to 'travel to the crash site'. Relatives have to be at KLIA before 6pm with valid passports for MAS to make 'travel arrangements'.
Police are escorting grief-stricken relatives out of the holding room. Many are distraught and in tears.
UPDATE [2:36pm]: Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein denies reports that signal from aircraft has been received in the south of Vietnam. He says the government has no information of any wreckage at the moment, but 'are looking at all possibilities'.
The Malaysian government has dispatched a plane, two helicopters and four vessels to search seas off its east coast in the South China Sea. The Philippines also sends three navy patrol boats and a surveillance plane.
AFP, in its live report, has several airline safety experts speaking about Malaysia Airlines' safety record. Read it here.
Malaysia Airlines says all other flights will proceed as usual, for now.
UPDATE [2:13pm]: MH370 has been removed from the arrivals board at the Beijing airport. Local media report that the passengers included 24 Chinese artists on their way back from an art exhibition in Malaysia.
UPDATE [2:06pm]: Members of the media have been barred from entering a special holding area for families of passegers and crew of flight MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Meanwhile, politician Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is being slammed for an insensitive tweet about a 'new Bermuda triangle'.
UPDATE [12:37]: 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. Full story here.
When contacted, Malaysia Airlines declined to confirm or deny the reports, saying that the Malaysian authorities are working together with the Vietnamese government on the matter.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reports that China has dispatched two maritime rescue ships to help locate the missing plane.
UPDATE [12:01]: Altogether, 239 passengers & crew, from 14 different nationalities, including two infants. Passengers were from:
1. China - 152 plus 1 infant
2. Malaysia - 38
3. Indonesia - 12
4. Australia - 7
5. France - 3
6. United States of America - 3 plus 1 infant
7. New Zealand - 2
8. Ukraine - 2
9. Canada - 2
10. Russia - 1
11. Italy - 1
12. Taiwan - 1
13. Netherlands - 1
14. Austria - 1
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.
UPDATE [11:32am]: VN Express, Vietnam's largest news site, reports that Vietnam Emergency Rescue Center just announced it has found signal of the missing plane at 9.50am 120 miles South West of Ca Mau cape, the Southern-most point of Vietnam.
The signal is believed to be the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmittor) , which can be activated manually by the flight crew or automatically upon impact.
A Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China has gone missing, the airline said.
Earlier this morning, MAS confirmed that flight MH370 had lost contact with the Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am today (March 8th, 2014)
Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am and was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.
Speaking on CNN's AC360, MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said they 'have no idea where the aircraft is right now'.
"We tried to call this aircraft through various means," he was quoted as saying. Sharuji told CNN that the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).
CNN also spoke to retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon who said the route taken by the aircraft had plenty of antennae, radar and radios for contact and that the plane was 'as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be with an excellent safety record'.
Joined: 19 February 2008
(CNN) -- (CNN) -- Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared Saturday after air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane, the airline said.
"At the moment we have no idea where this aircraft is right now," Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Control Fuad Sharuji said on CNN's "AC360."
Subang Air Traffic Control lost contact with Flight MH370 at about 2:40 a.m. local time (1:40 p.m. ET Friday), Sharuji said.
"We tried to call this aircraft through various means," he said. The airline checked reports that the jet had landed in several places, but determined that none of the reports was true, he said.
The Boeing 777-200 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41 a.m. and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., a 2,300-mile (3,700 kilometer) trip. It was carrying 227 passengers, two of them infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said.
At the time of its disappearance, the plane was carrying about 7.5 hours of fuel, Sharuji said.
The passengers are of 13 nationalities, the airline said. They were from China and Taiwan (154), Malaysia (38), Indonesia (12), Australia (7), France (3), United States (4), New Zealand (2), Ukraine (2), Canada (2), Russia (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Austria (1).
One infant from the United States and another from China were included in the tally.
By CNN's math, that adds up to 228 passengers, one more than the total cited by the airline. There was no immediate explanation offered.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft," the statement said. The public can call +603 7884 1234 for further information.
"We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts" with the jet, said CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya in a statement.
Efforts to contact the plane in the hours after it disappeared were fruitless. China deployed two rescue ships in the South China Sea to begin a search, state-run broadcaster CCTV said.
Family and friends of those missing on the flight gathered at a hotel complex in the Lido district of Beijing. People were being led in through a throng of reporters, with those friends and relatives saying nothing to the media.
One woman had her hand to her face. As the door opened, a man inside looked anxious as he talked on a cell phone.
The airline's website said the flight was piloted by Cap. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, a Malaysian. He has 18,365 total flying hours and joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981, the website said. The first officer is Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, a Malaysian with a total of 2,763 flying hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.
The airline said in a statement that its representatives were contacting the relatives of those aboard. "Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," it said.
China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said the flight lost contact and its radar signal as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.
China's embassy in Malaysia formed an emergency team headed by the Chinese ambassador to deal with the incident, it said.
"We're closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370," Boeing said in a tweet. "Our thoughts are with everyone on board."
"It doesn't sound very good," retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon told CNN's "AC360." He noted that the route is mostly overland, which means that there would be plenty of antennae, radar and radios to contact the plane.
"I've been trying to come up with every scenario that I could just to explain this away, but I haven't been very successful."
He said the plane is "about as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be," with an excellent safety record.
"The lack of communications suggests to me that something most unfortunate has happened," said Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in an interview with CNN International. "But that, of course, does not mean that there are not many persons that need to be rescued and secured. There's still a very urgent need to find that plane and to render aid."
There is one recent blemish for the Boeing jet: An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 291 passengers struck a seawall at San Francisco International Airport in July 2013, killing three people and wounding dozens more.
Malaysia Airlines operates in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and on the route between Europe and Australasia.
It has 15 of the Boeing 777-200 planes in its fleet, CNN's Richard Quest reported.
Part of the company is in the private sector, but the government owns most of it.
Malayan Airways Limited began flying in 1937 as an air service between Penang and Singapore. A decade later, it began flying commercially as the national airline.
In 1963, when Malaysia was formed, the airline was renamed Malaysian Airlines Limited.
Within 20 years, it had grown from a single aircraft operator into a company with 2,400 employees and a fleet operator
Joined: 19 February 2008
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) have begun contacting the next of kin of passengers and crew on board the missing flight MH370, which lost contact with air traffic controllers early this morning.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members," Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari said in a statement.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, through his Twitter account, urged family members of the passengers and crew to remain calm.
"To the family members of the passengers on board, stay calm & only get info fr validated sources. We'll keep all informed. Prayers with all," he tweeted.
The plane, which was bound for Beijing, was carrying 239 passengers, comprising 227 passengers (including two infants) and 12 crew members, before it was reported lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam in the early hours of the day.
The passengers were of 13 different nationalities, MAS said in a statement.
China's Xinhua news agency meanwhile reported that Chinese aviation authorities have confirmed that there were 160 Chinese nationals aboard the plane.
It also said the aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers.
A Malaysia Airlines spokesperson also told CNN that rumours circulating in social media that the plane had landed safely in southern China were being verified.
Meanwhile, screens at the airport in Beijing indicated that the flight was "delayed".
"This news has made us all very worried," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
"We hope every one of the passengers is safe. We are doing all we can to get more details."
The authorities have begun a search and rescue operations.
MAS said that flight MH370 lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am.
The B777-200 aircraft left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am and was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the airline said.
MAS says it will be providing regular updates on the situation. The public can call 03-7884 1234 for information.
MAS has had a few accidents in the past.
On October 10, 2013, two people, including co-pilot Marc Joel Bansh, 23, and passenger Tan Ah Chai, 96, were killed when a MASwings flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat crashed into a house, after landing short of the runway.
On September 15, 1995, 34 people were killed and 19 survived after a MAS flight crashed during approach in Tawau.
The deadliest crash in Malaysian aviation history was in Tanjung Kupang on December 4, 1977, when all 100 people on board a MAS plane were killed it was hijacked mid-air. It was heading to Subang from Penang. Several VIPs, including agriculture minister Datuk Ali Ahmad, Public Works Department head Datuk Mahfuz Khalid, and Cuban ambassador to Japan Mario Garca, were also on board.
Joined: 19 February 2008
The fate of flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains unclear more than 12 hours after air traffic controllers lost touch with the plane.
"We have no information on the location of the aircraft," said Malaysia Airlines. "We are currently working with international authorities on the search and rescue mission."
The last reported position of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 (flightradar24.com)
The search has focused on an area of the South China Sea roughly 120 nautical miles south west of Vietnam, the last point of contact with the jet.
China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines all dispatched rescue ships and an emergency rescue message also alerted all ships in the region to assist the mission and watch for any survivors that might be adrift.
A woman cries in Beijing airport as she waits to hear information about her family (Reuters)
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that went missing
In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian transport minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, said it was too early to confirm a crash and that there were no signs of wreckage on the surface of the water.
"We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane. We are doing everything we can to ensure every possible angle has been addressed," he said.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 jet, took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.35am on Saturday. Two hours later, according to Malaysia Airlines, it lost contact with the air traffic control in Vietnam.
Family and friends waiting for the plane to arrive break down as they hear the jet has gone missing (AFP)
The last data from the plane showed it climbing steadily to 35,000 ft before vanishing. There was no distress signal and the weather conditions were good.
Vietnam authorities said contact with Flight MH370 was lost near its airspace, but its exact location and fate remained a mystery for more than 12 hours after it slipped off air-traffic control screens.
The arrival board shows the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, top in red, cancelled at Beijing International Airport (AFP)
In Beijing, the Chinese president Xi Jinping ordered all resources to be mobilised to find the plane and aid survivors.
"We are extremely worried," said Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign minister, breaking off a press conference to attend to the crisis.
A member of staff from Malaysia Airlines is surrounded by reporters at the airport (Rex Features)
The flight, a codeshare with China Southern airlines, had 153 Chinese on board, including one child. There were also five Indians, four French, three US citizens, two passengers each from New Zealand, Ukraine, and Canada, and one each from Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria, but no British passengers.
Among the Chinese were two groups, one of artists and their families, who had taken part in a cultural exchange and another of Buddhists returning from a religious meeting in the Malaysian capital.
Relatives of the passengers were directed by the Chinese police to the Lido Hotel in Beijing where they waited for news in a large conference room.
Frustrated relative struggled to make sense of the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200 which - like the Malaysian national carrier - has a solid safety record.
Malaysia Airlines said the plane, on an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, relayed no distress signal, indications of rough weather, or other signs of trouble.
"We filled in a form with our personal information but we have had no updates," said one woman, who declined to give her name. "I hope someone can stand up and say something, but I know there is not much information yet," she added.
If confirmed, the crash would be the worst disaster in the history of Malaysia Airlines, which has had no major accidents for almost two decades. The Boeing 777 is also one of the world's safest planes: the first fatal crash in its history only came last July when an Asiana Airlines jet landed short of the runway in San Francisco, killing three of the 307 people on board.
Joined: 19 February 2008
Jonathan Head says there are distressing scenes at Kuala Lumpur airport as relatives wait for news
South-east Asian states have joined forces to search waters between Malaysia and Vietnam after a Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on a flight to Beijing, with 239 people on board.
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that flight MH370 had disappeared at 02:40 local time on Saturday (18:40 GMT on Friday) after leaving Kuala Lumpur.
It had been expected to land in Beijing at 06:30 (22:30 GMT).
Malaysia's transport minister said there was no information on wreckage.
"We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane," Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
The relatives and friends waiting to meet passengers from flight MH370 have been taken to the Lido Hotel, a short drive from Beijing Airport's Terminal Three.
Some are of course clearly very distressed and volunteers are providing them with support. But there have been complaints, and at least one angry outburst, about the lack of information from the airline. "We've waited for hours and they've told us very few details," one man said.
Some of the anger has also been directed at the large group of journalists gathered outside the room in which the relatives have been taken to. "Don't you all have families?" one is reported to have asked. A statement from Malaysian Airlines says it has sent another team of "caregivers and volunteers" from Kuala Lumpur who are expected to arrive in Beijing later tonight.
"Our hope is that the people understand we are being as transparent as we can, we are giving information as quickly as we can, but we want to make sure information has been verified."
Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the focus was on helping the families of those missing. He said that 80% of the families had been contacted.
The plane went off the radar south of Vietnam, according to a statement on the Vietnamese government website.
Its last known location was off the country's Ca Mau peninsula although the exact position was not clear, it said.
The Boeing B777-200 aircraft was carrying 227 passengers, including two children, and 12 crew members.'Very worried'
Malaysia's military said a second wave of helicopters and ships had been despatched after an initial search revealed nothing.
Territorial disputes over the South China Sea were set aside temporarily as China dispatched two maritime rescue ships and the Philippines deployed three air force planes and three navy patrol ships.
Vietnam also sent aircraft and ships while Vietnamese fishermen in the area were asked to report any suspected sign of the missing plane.
"In times of emergencies like this, we have to show unity of efforts that transcends boundaries and issues," said Lt Gen Roy Deveraturda, commander of the Philippine military's Western Command.
The passengers were of 14 different nationalities, Mr Jauhari said.
Among them were 152 Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysians, 12 people from Indonesia and six from Australia.
Source: Malaysia Airlines
The pilot was Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981, Mr Yahya said.
A Vietnamese navy official told the BBC the plane had gone missing within Malaysian maritime territory.
Friends and relatives expecting to meet passengers from the flight in Beijing were instructed to go to a nearby hotel where officials were meant to be on hand to provide support.
"They should have told us something before now," a visibly distressed man in his thirties told AFP news agency at the hotel.
Hamid RamlanMalasyian father of a woman aboard the plane
My house has become a place of mourning"
"They are useless," another young man said of the airline. "I don't know why they haven't released any information."
In Kuala Lumpur, Hamid Ramlan, a 56-year-old police officer, said his daughter and son-in-law had been on the flight for an intended holiday in Beijing.
"My wife is crying," he said. "Everyone is sad. My house has become a place of mourning. This is Allah's will. We have to accept it."
The plane had been flying at an altitude of 35,000ft (10,700m) and the pilots had not reported any problems with the aircraft, Fuad Sharuji, Malaysian Airlines' vice-president of operations control, told CNN.
Air traffic control lost contact with the Malaysia Airlines plane after leaving Kuala Lumpur
The aircraft never made it into Chinese airspace as John Sudworth reports from Beijing International Airport
Malaysia's national carrier is one of Asia's largest, flying nearly 37,000 passengers daily to some 80 destinations worldwide.
The route between Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has become more and more popular as Malaysia and China increase trade, says the BBC's Jennifer Pak in Kuala Lumpur.
The Boeing 777 had not had a fatal crash in its 20-year history until an Asiana plane came down at San Francisco airport in July of last year. Three teenage girls from China died in that incident.
Boeing said in a statement posted on Twitter: "We're closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370. Our thoughts are with everyone on board."
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