China helping locate missing Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people
China has dispatched two maritime rescue ships to the South China Sea to help in rescue work for a missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, state television reported.
The Boing-777-200 of the Malaysia Airlines, that left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing and disappeared from radar screens two hours later, carried passengers from 12 countries.
According to the Xinhua information agency, 153 of 227 passengers of the MH370 flight were Chinese. The other passengers were from Italy, France and Ukraine, there were also four US citizens and one Russian.
A missing Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, the airline said on Saturday.
Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities were working jointly on search operations in the area and the airline could not yet confirm the plane had crashed, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement read to a news conference.
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people bound for Beijing has lost contact with air traffic control after leaving Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said Friday.
The airline said in a statement that Flight MH370 disappeared Saturday at 2:40 am local time (1840 GMT Friday). The plane, a Boeing 777-200, left Kuala Lumpur just after midnight Saturday, and had been due to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am local time (2230 GMT Friday).
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the carrier said.
Radar contact with a Malaysian Airlines aircraft that has gone missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam in the early hours of Saturday morning, China's Xinhua news agency said.
China's CCTV said 160 Chinese nationals were onboard the flight, according to microblogging website Weibo.
The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, Xinhua added, in a report on one of its official microblogs.
Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP,