A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, departed from Kuala Lumpur at 00:41 today, lost contact with Vietnam Air Traffic Control 2 hours later.
The missing red eye flight, MH 370, was scheduled to land in Beijing Capital International Airport by 06:30.
The aircraft was carrying 227 passengers (including 2 infants), and 12 crew members. Passengers were from 14 different countries, but the majority of them was from China and Taiwan.
Soon after the captain of the aircraft checked in with Vietnam Air Traffic Control, the aircraft went complete silence.
Last minute transmission shows the aircraft dropping 200m from it’s cruising height, as well as flying in a wrong direction.
Vietnam’s daily paper Tuoi Tre News’s latest report quoted High Command of Vietnam Navy’s statement, claiming that the plane has indeed crashed, some 300 km away from Tho Chu Island in Kien Giang Province.
A Search and Rescue (SAR) team is now off to the suspected crash site to locate the plane and recover the possible survivors.
The People’s Republic of China is also launching a SAR mission to recover the plane.
The missing flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian pilot with 18365 flight hours on the clock. He was accompanied by First Officer Fariq Ab. Hamid, also a Malaysian pilot, with 2763 hours on the clock.
The aircraft was delivered to Malaysia Airlines of 31st May 2002. The plane’s wingtip had accidentally struck a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600 on August 2012 while on the ground at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Malaysian Airlines has arranged a special flight, carrying the family members of the Malaysian passengers on Flight 340 to the suspected crash site of the aircraft.
Local media reported earlier that the Airlines asked the waiting families to go home to retrieve their passports and be ready to go to the crash site.
Inquiry hotline is provided for the general public. Members of public can call +603 7884 1234 for further information regarding the incident.
Photo Courtesy: Laurent ERRERA, CC-BY-SA, Wikipedia.