March 7, 2014

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing  having 239 passengers remained off-radar hours after it had last contact with air traffic controllers, and a search-and-rescue was established, officials said.Malaysia-Airlines-Flight-MH370-Mystery-Pilot-665x385

Flight MH370, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard, was scheduled to land in the Chinese capital at 6:30 a.m. but did not arrive. It departed from the Malaysian capital at 12:41 a.m. Saturday and lost contact with Malaysian air traffic controllers about two hours later, the airline said.

Malaysia Airlines identified the pilot of the Boeing 777-200 as Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who joined airline in 1981.

Officials said three Americans were on the flight along with passengers from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, France, New Zealand, Ukraine, Canada, Russia, Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria.

Two infants were among the passengers, the airline said.

China’s official New China News Agency said 158 Chinese nationals were on board the flight, which apparently disappeared before entering Chinese airspace. The agency said the pilots had not been in touch with Chinese air traffic control.

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