Malaysia Airlines loses contact with plane en route to Beijing with 239 aboard

File picture shows a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 at Kuala Lumpur International airport (AFP/File, Francis Silvan)
Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people on board.
The airline said in a statement that the passenger jet disappeared on Saturday at 2:40am local time (1840 GMT Friday).
The plane, a Boeing 777-200, left Kuala Lumpur just after midnight on Saturday, and had been due to arrive in the Chinese capital at 6:30am local time the same day.
In a media statement, Malaysia Airlines confirmed that "MH370 has lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40am" on March 8.
"Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
China\’s Xinhua state news agency said it was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam.
The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, the agency added.
The airline is the national carrier of Malaysia and one of Asia\’s largest, flying nearly 37,000 passengers daily to some 80 destinations worldwide.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.
"The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Meanwhile, the public may contact +603 7884 1234 for further info."
Source: Agencies
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