Crews from several Asian countries have been diligently searching for the missing 777 Malaysian Airlines plane that is believed to have crashed. The plane disappeared at 2:40 a.m. on March 8th, just two hours into the flight. There were 239 people on board, according to the airlines, four were Americans. The plane disappeared after losing contact with Subang air traffic control. The flight from Kuala Lampur to Beijing was scheduled to land at 6:30 a.m., now though investigators from Vietnam believe that they have spotted an oil slick that may be the crash site.
While most of the passengers are from China, there were passengers from 14 different nationalities on board. The airline is working diligently to notify the family members of the missing about the situation. The plane lost contact in Vietnam airspace, and the Vietnam Air Force says that they believe they have found two oil slicks, likely left by the plane. Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Malaysian Airlines CEO, issued a statement to the press that the airlines “thoughts and prayers are with the family members of the missing crew and passengers.”
Chinese state media and the Malaysian Transport Minister are both denying the reports that the plane has crashed, and are still diligently searching for the Malaysian airlines plane. The Chinese authorities are saying that they are extremely worried and doing all they can do get details, that while the news is disturbing they are hopeful that everyone on the plane is alright. Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein issued a statement that the government had yet to identify a crash site. When asked whether terrorism could be to blame for the planes disappearance the Transport Minister said that they had no information about it, but they were looking into all possibilities.
Currently Malaysian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese officials are coordinating efforts to search for the plane. The director of Vietnam’s civil aviation authority, Lai Xuan Thanh, stated that Vietnam sent searchers out to scour the 11,200 square-kilometer area where the plane had lost contact with air traffic control. The plane has been missing for over twelve hours and while officials are not certain it crashed they are certain that it was not carrying enough fuel to still be in the air.
According to the Malaysian Airlines the passengers aboard flight MH370 included 153 Chinese of which one was a child, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, six Australians, four Americans with one child, three French, two Canadians, two individuals from New Zealand, two from the Ukraine, and one Russian, one Italian, one Taiwan, one from the Netherlands, and one from Austria. The family and friends who were waiting for the flight in Beijing were instructed to go to a nearby motel and wait for further information.
The BBC reports that the Boeing 777 has not had a fatal crash in its 20-year history until the Asiana plane went down at the San Francisco airport last July. Boeing 777 has flown close to five million flights and seats between 300-380 passengers. Right now it is believed that the Malaysian Airlines plane crashed into the sea.
By Rachel Woodruff