Malaysian Airlines jet with with about 239 people on board has aroused panic that it has crashed, after it lost contact flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A major search for the plane and its passengers was lauched today. According to Airline officials, they were seriously concerned about the safety of the aircraft, as the said plane was carrying 153 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, 7 Australians, 3 French, 4 Americans, 2 each from New Zealand, Canada and Ukraine, and 1 each from Russia, Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Austria.
The Vietnamese Navy established that it picked up the aircraft’s emergency locator signal, and that the signal was coming from the sea, about 153 miles south of Phu Quoc island.
The radar scan of the Vietnamese Navy vessel, which was sailing to an area in the south of the Vietnamese Island of Phu Quoc reportedly showed the Malaysian jet crashing there in the sea.
Admiral Ngo Van Phat informed the Vietnamese newspaper ‘Tuoi Tre’ that radar scan signaled that the aircraft crashed into the sea just off the southern tip of Vietnam, close to the Cambodian border.
It is earnestly hoped that the Naval ships, as well as other vessels, would be able to get to the location before darkness fell, to increase the possibility of finding any survivors or wreckage.
It is believed that the signal picked up by the Navy, is the Emergency Locator Transmittor, which can be manually triggered by the flight crew or automatically upon impact.
Beijing airport earlier yesterday was filled with crying relatives and friends, as it became obvious the plane had most likely crashed.
There was an unconfirmed report from a flight tracking website, which said that the airplane plunged 650ft and changed course just before all contact with the plane was lost.
This route would in fact have taken flight MH370, a B777-200 aircraft, across the mainland of Malaysian in a north-easterly direction and then through the Gulf of Thailand.
Those on board the flight were an American baby, a Chinese baby, as well as 12 crew members. Malaysian Airlines in a statement, said that it was working with all authorities in the region, and that the search and rescue teams had also been mobilized.
The aircraft was supposed to land in Beijing at 6.30am local time, but at 7.54am the airline made a statement saying that it had not yet landed and was officially missing.
MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji that they tried all means to call this airplane, and that the plane was carrying fuel for more 7.5 hours journey when it vanished.
Lai Xuan Thanh, director of Vietnam’s civil aviation authority, said that the said aircraft was over the sea and bound for Vietnamese airspace, but every attempt by air traffic officials in the country to contact them proved abortive.
According to Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, who is the deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, the airplane lost all contact and radar signal just a minute before it entered Vietnam’s air traffic control.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old Malaysia is the pilot of the passenger plane, and joined the airline in 1981.
First Officer Fariq Ab. Hamid, aged 27-year-old was his co-pilot and a Malaysian, who joined the airline in 2007. If this airplane has crashed, and all the passengers and crew members killed, it would the deadliest aviation incident recorded since November 2001.
In that of November 2001, 265 people died after an American Airlines Airbus A300 crashed in Belle Harbor, Queens, after taking off from the JFK Airport in New York. The deaths in that incident also included five people who were on the ground, and not aboard the flight.
Over 10 hours after the last contact, officials from different countries have been struggling to locate the plane. All the countries likely to be in the flight path of the missing plane were performing serious ‘communications and radio search’, John Andrews, deputy chief of the Philippines’ civil aviation agency, reported.
Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst at S&P Capital IQ stated that it was not possibe that the plane would be in the air flying, because it would have run short of oil by now. He says its most likely that the plane would be on the ground somewhere, intact, or probably gone down into the water.’
Aviation experts said that if the report from the flight tracking website was correct about the plane suddenly plunging, then it could be because of a number of factors.
These factors include a catastrophic engine failure, the pilots taking evasive action to avoid another plane or an explosion.
The airline has not said anything yet about the pilots putting through a distress call, but if the pilots did not, it indicates that a catastrophe had occurred without warning, experts say.
Fuad Sharuji, Malaysian Airlines’ vice president of operations control, told CNN yesterday that the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 35,000ft and that the pilots had earlier on reported there was no problem with the plane.
China’s Xinhua news agency later reported that the airplane was lost in the air space controlled by Vietnam and did not enter Chinese airspace at all or even make any contact with Chinese controllers.
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the airline’s chief executive said that their team is currently making calls to the next of kin of the passengers and the crew members. The airline has also issued a statement saying that its ‘thoughts and prayers’ were with all those on board as well as their families.
Freshgist is saying may God save these people, if they are dead, I pray God consoles the affected families and friends. My readers, please make prayers for these ones too. Peace!