Malaysia

Beijing-bound MAS plane carrying 239 people missing

A website listed flight MH370 as having landed at 6.10am but MAS issued a statement at 7.45am saying that the plane is missing. – flightradar24.com pic, March 8, 2014.A website listed flight MH370 as having landed at 6.10am but MAS issued a statement at 7.45am saying that the plane is missing. – flightradar24.com pic, March 8, 2014.The authorities have begun a search and rescue for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 after the Beijing-bound plane lost contact with air traffic controllers this morning, the airline said today.

MAS said flight MH370 lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am.

The B777-200 aircraft left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am and was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am. 

"The flight was carrying 227 passengers (including two infants), 12 crew members," the airline said in a statement.

"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," it added.

In Beijing, Reuters reported that according to China's Xinhua news agency, radar contact with the Malaysian Airlines aircraft was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam in the early hours of today.

The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, Xinhua added.

The airline says it will be providing regular updates on the situation. The public can call 03-7884 1234 for information.

MAS has had a few accidents.

On October 10 2013, two people were killed, including co-pilot Marc Joel Bansh, 23, and passenger Tan Ah Chai, 96, when a MASwings flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat crashed into a house, after landing short of the runway.

On September 15, 1995, 34 people were killed and 19 survived after a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed during approach in Tawau.

It had touched down 500m before the end of the 2.2km runway. While attempting to carry out a go-around, the aircraft crashed into a shantytown.

The accident was caused by the pilot's poor in-flight decision-making and failure to follow standard operating procedures.

The deadliest crash in Malaysian aviation history was in Tanjung Kupang on December 4, 1977, when 100 people on board a Malaysian Airlines were killed when the plane, which had departed from Penang and was en route to Subang, was hijacked mid-air.

Several VIPs, including agriculture minister Datuk Ali Ahmad, Public Works Department head Datuk Mahfuz Khalid, and Cuban ambassador to Japan Mario García, were also on board.– March 8, 2014.

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