A major search and rescue operation is underway after a Boeing 777 jet vanished over the South China Sea with 239 people on board
12 hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers, the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 remains unclear. The flight departed Kuala Lumpur and was destined for Beijing.
“We have no information on the location of the aircraft,” said Malaysia Airlines. “We are currently working with international authorities on the search and rescue mission.”
The search has focused on an area of the South China Sea roughly 120 nautical miles south west of Vietnam, the last point of contact with the jet.
Rescue ships from China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines were dispatched and an emergency rescue message to all ships in the region was sent out.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 jet, took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.35am on Saturday. Data showed that the aircraft was climbing to 35,000 feet when it vanished.
If confirmed, the crash would be the worst disaster in the history of Malaysia Airlines, which has had no major accidents for almost two decades.The Boeing 777 is also one of the world’s safest planes: the first fatal crash in its history only came last July when an Asiana Airlines jet landed short of the runway in San Francisco, killing three of the 307 people on board.