LATEST UPDATES: The United States has dispatched a destroyer to join in on the search of the mysterious MH370 aircraft that has been missing for over 24 hours now. The US government is also sending the Federal Bureau Investigations (FBI) to aid the search mission, based on the American citizenship of three of the passengers aboard the missing flight.
Search crews from China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia will be joined by the American Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to search for any evidence in the South China Sea that will locate the aircraft.
The plot thickens with reports on Saturday that two impostors were on board, using European passports that were stolen from Thailand. Italian and Austrian officials confirmed the names of two passengers were from the passports reported stolen in Thailand. American officials told NBC News that they have not ruled out a terrorist attack as a possible cause of the flight’s disappearance.
No wreckage has been discovered so far. However, traces of oil slick were found in the South China Sea that could possibly be from the crashed aircraft.
During a press conference yesterday, the Malaysian Transport Minister said they have yet to confirm that there were signals from missing the plane while Vietnamese officials also deny having found signals.
Stay tuned for more updates.
The missing Malaysian aircraft crashed into the sea, 250km off Southern Vietnam near Tho Chu island, according to a Vietnamese naval officer. The Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has also given updates regarding the crash in that the exact location of the crash has not been confirmed and no wreckage has been discovered so far.
Malaysia has activated its air force and navy as part of the search and rescue mission. In addition to that, the Vietnamese navy is aiding the search mission and China has also sent out two vessels to the South China Sea.
More to come.
Early this morning, Malaysia Airlines released a statement confirming that flight MH370 has lost contact with the Subang Air Traffic Control since 2:40am today (Saturday, 8 March 2014). The B777-200 aircraft was bound to Beijing and left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41am with 227 passengers on board, including 12 crew members.
The latest media statement reads:
Statement By Our Group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya on MH370 Incident at the Press Conference. Released at 11.00am/8 Mar 2014 MY Local Time
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are deeply saddened this morning with the news on MH370.
Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today.
There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed at Nanming.
We are working to verify the authenticity of the report and others.
Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
It departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing.
The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time.
The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
The passengers were of 14 different nationalities – citizens from:-
15. China – 152 plus 1 infant
16. Malaysia – 38
17. Indonesia – 12
18. Australia – 7
19. France – 3
20. United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant
21. New Zealand – 2
22. Ukraine – 2
23. Canada – 2
24. Russia – 1
25. Italy – 1
26. Taiwan – 1
27. Netherlands – 1
28. Austria – 1
This flight was a code share with China Southern Airlines.
We are working with authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.
Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.
The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total flying hours of 18,365hours. 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.
Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.
The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. The public may contact +603 7884 1234. For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.
Please also log on to http://bit.ly/1feKrJ0 for updates.
Next-of-kin may head to the Support Facility Building at KLIA’s South Support Zone. For directions, call 03 8787 1269.
While there had been rumours that the plane had landed in China, local newspaper The Star published an article in which it is said that these claims are false.
We will continue updating with this article as soon as more information is provided.