Malaysia Airlines Plane Vanishes, Search Underway

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A Malaysia Airlines plane has vanished without a trace and so have the 239 people on board. CNN reports that around 1:30 pm EST, air traffic control first lost contact with Flight MH370. It was destined to arrive in Beijing, China a few hours later, but never made it.

The Boeing 777-200ER was said to be carrying an estimated 7.5 hours worth of fuel at the time it went missing.

There are reportedly passengers from 14 different countries including 4 American passengers: 3 adults and 1 infant. Almost half the flight's passengers were from China.

There have been conflicting stories as to the fate of Flight MH370, leading to much anger and confusion.

Vietnamese and Chinese sources were reporting that the plane had gone down miles off the coast of Southeast Asia and a crash site had been located. Afterwards Malaysian sources denied these claims as speculation, saying that no crash site had been discovered as of yet.

An official told Reuters that Malaysian rescuers had spotted an "orange speck" in the region of the plane's last known location.

"We sent a vessel to search the area and it was confirmed that it was nothing," stated the official.

According to the Ministry of Transportation in Malaysia, roughly 80% of the family members of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members have been contacted. A number of Chinese family members have gathered together at a hotel in the Lido district of Beijing to grieve and await news.

There is already a great deal of controversy surrounding the disappearance, even as the fate of Flight MH370 remains unknown.

Along with conflicting stories as to the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight, the Malay Mail Online reports that there have been accusations made that local authorities were far too slow to spread word about Flight MH370 being missing.

A joint search effort has been launched by several nations within region of the Southeast Asia to rescue and recover the missing plane and passengers. The US Navy intends to deploy an aircraft to assist in the search efforts.

Although much time has passed since anyone heard from the flight, some continue to hold onto the hope that there may be survivors.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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