Malaysia Airlines loses contact, 239 onboard

Malaysia Airlines' Boeing 737 passenger plane, rear, prepares to take off at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd (MAS) announced Tuesday it recorded a net loss of 484 million Malaysian ringgit ($1.6 million) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a net loss of 1.247 billion Malaysian ringgit ($405 million) in the same quarter a year earlier. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Malaysia Airlines' Boeing 737 passenger plane, rear, prepares to take off at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysia Airlines said Saturday it lost contact with a plane carrying 239 people on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and search and rescue teams were trying to locate the aircraft.

Flight MH370 lost contact with the Subang air traffic control near Kuala Lumpur at 2:40 a.m. Saturday (18:40 GMT Friday).

The flight was operated on the Boeing 777-200 aircraft. It departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday (16:41 GMT Friday) and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday (22:30 GMT Friday).

The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said.

The airline said it was working with authorities who activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft. The route would take the aircraft from Malaysia across to Vietnam and China.

“Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew. Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members,” he added.

Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200 jets in its fleet of about 100 planes. The state-owned carrier last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss.

The 777 has not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the Asiana crash in San Francisco in July 2014.

 

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