Originally posted March 7, 2014 4:40pm PST. Last updated March 8 3:00pm PST.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777-200ER (airplane reg: 9M-MRO) has most likely crashed 153 miles off of Vietnam’s Tho Chu island. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities.
The location information comes from the Vietnamese Navy, using radar telemetry that is most likely accurate. Also, a 12-mile oil slick discovered in the area also points to the idea that the Boeing 777-200ER was lost here.
“An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft,” Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said. “We have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search.”
The flight, operating Kuala Lumpur (airport code: KUL) to Beijing (airport code: PEK), disappeared and “lost contact” with the airline. The plane lost contact approximately forty minutes in to the usually six-hour flight. Originally reports stated that the aircraft went missing two hours after departure, but the Malaysian defense ministry confirms this not to be true.
Malaysa Airlines has confirmed that the captain of flight 370 started with the airline in 1981 and has logged 18,365 flying hours, while the first officer joined in 2007 and has 2,763 hours logged.
At this point, it will likely be a while until there is official confirmation that the aircraft did crash into the water, and much longer after to determine what exactly happened.
The United States Navy has also joined the search, sending the USS Pickney (a destroyer) and a P-3C Orion in to the area to assist.
The airline has requested that people around the world pray for the passengers of MH370. “Malaysia Airlines humbly asks all Malaysians and people around the world to pray for flight MH370,” they stated in a press release.
This story will be updated…