9 March, 11:15

Family of Chinese passenger missing on flight MH370 makes contact with his phone

Family of Chinese passenger missing on flight MH370 makes contact with his phone

The family of a Chinese passenger, missing on flight MH370, have made contact with his mobile phone. Malaysian authorities are trying to use the signal to locate the plane, Chinese state television reported on Sunday.

Beijing Television said it also called the man's mobile phone and appeared to connect with it before the call was cut off.

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane disappeared early Saturday as it was carrying 227 passengers, most of them Chinese, and 12 crew to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian Airlines 'fear the worst' as missing plane mystery deepens

The fate of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 remains a mystery after it vanished from radar screens more than 24 hours ago, the country's civil aviation chief has said. The Malaysian transport minister informed the media that investigators were looking into the identities of two passengers who travelled on stolen passwords as the airlines company said it "feared the worst".

"The rescue operations continued last night, until this morning. We have to report that we are not able to locate or see anything. Therefore, there is nothing new to report," Director General for Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said on Sunday.

The Boeing aircraft carrying 239 passengers and crew lost contact on Saturday en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

It's emerged that two Europeans named in the passenger manifest had both lost their passports in Thailand, in the past two years.

On Saturday night, diplomats confirmed that two Europeans listed on the passenger manifest – an Italian, Luigi Maraldi and an Austrian, Christian Kozel – had not been on the flight and were safe and well. Maraldi had his passport stolen in Thailand last year and Kozel’s was stolen in the region two years ago.

The flight was a codeshare with China Southern and the two people named as Maraldi and Kozel on the list booked together via the Chinese airline, Chinese media reported. The company said it had CCTV footage of the two people who checked in as Maraldi and Kozel.

The identities of two other passengers are also under investigation, although there are no reports of sabotage or claims of an attack.

Despite the mystery there appears little sign it's dented confidence for other people travelling with Malaysian Airlines. Those checking in at Kuala Lumpur airport on Sunday were philosophical.

Reuters quoted Sundra Rao, a Malaysian Airlines passenger embarking on a flight to London: "Well, there are lots of mishaps in the world but life has to go on. It happened yesterday and today, I'm flying off to London. I've already booked the ticket a month ahead."

Another Malaysian Airlines passenger, who only gave his name as Trevor, told reporters: "There's no reason why not because it's a good airline. It's a one-off. We don't know what's happened yet, whether it's the aircraft or anything else could have dropped from the sky."

As the search for Flight MH 370 goes on relatives of those missing with it were still gathering in Beijing on Sunday to wait for news. Of the total 239 passengers, more than half were Chinese. The 12-strong flight crew were all from Malaysia.

Read more:

Malaysian PM meets with relatives of passengers on missing plane

Oil slick in South China Sea likely to be Malaysia Airlines plane crash site

Prayers and heartbreak with Malaysian plane missing: families await news

Voice of Russia, Reuters, Guardian, dpa

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