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Pattaya Daily News

08 March 2014 :: 12:03:21 pm 82921

Boeing 777 Carrying 239 People Lost Over Vietnam

A major search has been launched for a Malaysian Airlines jet with 239 people on board after it lost contact flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
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Airline officials admitted they were gravely concerned for the safety of the aircraft, which was carrying four Americans and seven Australians, as well as passengers from France and China.

Crying relatives of Chinese passengers on board the plane wept at Beijing airport as it became clear the jet had probably crashed.

An unconfirmed report on a flight tracking website said the aircraft had plunged 650ft and changed course shortly before all contact was lost.

The route would have taken flight MH370, a B777-200 aircraft, across the Malaysian mainland in a north-easterly direction and then across the Gulf of Thailand.

Those on board included two infants and 12 crew members, Malaysian Airlines said in a statement, adding it was working with all authorities in the region and search and rescue teams had been mobilized.

As well as the American and Australian passengers, the aircraft was carrying 153 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians and 32 people from France.

The aircraft had been due to land in Beijing at 6.30am local time but at 7.54am the airline issued a statement saying it had not landed and was officially missing.

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Aviation experts said that if the report of the aircraft suddenly plunging was correct it could be due to a number of factors.

These include a catastrophic engine failure; the pilots taking evasive action to avoid another aircraft; or an explosion.

The airline has not said whether the pilots were able to issue a distress call – but if they did not, experts said this could indicate a catastrophy that had occurred without warning.

Malaysian Airlines said it would issue updates as soon as more information became available.

The aircraft had enough fuel on board for a seven-hour flight and the airline said that given the time it has been missing it would have already run out of fuel.

Fearing the worst, the airline has begun contacting relatives of the passengers warning them that the flight has not arrived and they should prepare themselves for bad news.

The Boeing jet lost contact with Malaysian air traffic controllers a little over two hours into its flight.

Reports from China’s Xinhua news agency said later that the aircraft was lost in air space controlled by Vietnam and did not enter Chinese airspace or make any contact with Chinese controllers.

Vietnam is heavily shrouded in forest and there were no immediate reports coming from that country of an aircraft crashing.

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Vietnamese authorites said they were investigating the aircraft’s disappearance.

‘Our team is currently calling the next of kin of passengers and crew,’ the airline’s chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said as the airline issued a statement saying its ‘thoughts and prayers’ were with all those on board as well as their families.

Unconfirmed reports said it was believed the missing aircraft was involved in a crash in August 2012 when it damaged the tail of a China Eastern Airlines plane at Shanghai Pudong Airport.

The reports said that in that incident the tip of the wing of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 broke off.

Retired American Airlines captain Jim Tilmon told CNN that ‘it doesn’t sound very good,’ as the search continued for the missing jet.

‘The route is mostly overland, which means there would be plenty of radars 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.’

Mr Tilmon said the jet was ‘about as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be.’

News from : Dailymail

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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