Malaysia Airlines Plane Disappears; Search Mobilized for Flight MH370

A Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people passengers and crew, including two infants, on-board seemingly vanished early Saturday morning after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Two oil slicks found in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam is suspected of being part of a crashed plane.

Malaysia Airlines Plane Crash
A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital International Airport March 8, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew lost contact with air traffic controllers early on Saturday en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the airline said in a statement. Flight MH 370, operating a Boeing B777-200 aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.21 a.m. (1621 GMT Friday) and had been expected to land in the Chinese capital at 6.30 a.m. (2230 GMT) the same day. |

"An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft," said Lai Xuan Thanh, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. "We have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search."

Malaysia Airlines announced that an international search and rescue mission was mobilized for Boeing 777, which was en route to Beijing. Meanwhile, families of passengers are expecting the worst.

"Our priority now is to widen the search area and provide support to relatives of those missing," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.

"I'd just like to say our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families."

Subang Air Traffic Control Center lost contact with the plane less than an hour after it departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41 a.m. and reported it missing another hour later.

The airline said it did not receive any distress messages or emergency signals from Flight MH370 before it "disappeared off the radar."

The last recorded position of the plane was 93 miles northeast of Kuala Terengganu, Fredrik Lindahl, the chief executive of Flightradar24, told The New York Times.

The 227 passengers are of 14 different nationalities. Most are Chinese or Taiwanese nationals. Three, including an infant, are Americans. All crew on-board are Malaysians.

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