Tonight, those words are all over the Internet after Malaysia Airlines lost contact with flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER (wiki) with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board. The plane had been on a scheduled flight between Kuala Lampur and Beijing when it vanished off of air traffic control radar.
China's Xinhua news agency reports, via AP, that the plane disappeared from radar in Vietnamese airspace. Search and rescue resources have been activated and are focusing on the plane's last known location over the South China Sea. Xinhua reports signals from the plane have been detected. Unconfirmed Internet-borne rumors that the plane has landed safely in China are just that, rumors, and have been denied by airline and SAR officials.
I know that flying is statistically safer than any other form of transport. I know the 777 is considered one of the most advanced and safe commercial aircraft in the sky. But statistics don't mean much on a night like this.
I find myself praying this is just a technical glitch, and dreading how this will likely turn out.
- CTV: Malaysia Airlines flight missing; 239 people on board
- CNN: Malaysia Airlines plane missing
- Malaysian Airlines Statement
- Updated statement from the airline; updated statement #2
- FlightAware data track, screenshot
- NBC news backgrounder on 777
- CTV News backgrounder on 777, safety record
- Incident aircraft registered as 9M-MRO, delivered to Malaysia Airlines May 2002
- Twitter accounts: Malaysia Airlines (@MAS), @Boeing, NTSB
- Airliners.net discussions
- Slate.com: Oil slicks found off Vietnam coast