How awful. Nobody knows what happened to a massive, full Malaysia Airlines jet after contact was lost on Mar. 8, but a new oil slick sighting in the ocean near Vietnam has the families of over 230 people fearing for the worst.
Southeast Asia is in a state of panic after a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people, including three Americans and five infants, disappeared on Mar. 8. Authorities still have not been able to confirm the location of the jetliner, but many fear that it crashed not long after it took off — and new evidence seems to support that grim, tragic theory.
Malaysia Airlines Flight Disappeared — Likely Crashed
“We have no idea where this aircraft is right now,” Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Control Fuad Sharuji told CNN. Air traffic controllers lost track of the plane not long after it left Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, on its way to Beijing. The shocking disappearance has family and friends of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members in a state of fear, sadness and helplessness, as authorities try to figure out what happened.
The flight was declared missing 90 minutes after it was scheduled to land in China. An unconfirmed flight tracking report claims that the aircraft plunged nearly 650 ft. before changing course and losing contact, according to Mail Online.
Authorities Search For Fallen Aircraft
The general consensus is that the plane went down — aviation expert Chris Yates sadly admitted to Sky News that if the plane hadn’t initially crashed, it would have lost all fuel by now and come down — now it’s more a matter of finding out where the tragedy occurred. Chinese state media reported that Vietnam’s National Search and Rescue Center said the missing plane may have gone down in the overlapping waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, where an oil slick was spotted in the strip of ocean. Another aircraft flying over the area saw “rubbish” and a liquid floating on the water’s surface, a search and rescue official told CNN.
But still, no official determination has been made. China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia are all conducting search and rescue operations to find the vanished plane, though what they find will likely not be good. When the plane is found, investigations will then be conducted to see whether the incident was caused by a mechanical failure or by something closer to terrorism.
Malaysia Airlines: Flight MH370 Carried 239 People, 5 Infant Children
For the time being, families of the on-board passengers are looking for any semblance of hope in a situation that will seemingly only end in tragedy. “My son was only 40 years old,” one woman wailed near the airport in Beijing, according to CNN. “My son, my son. What am I going to do?”
The plane carried 227 passengers, including five children under the age of five, and 12 crew members. The passengers are of 14 different nationalities, but the majority — 154 in all — were Chinese nationals.
Stay tuned for more updates on this awful, developing story.
— Andrew Gruttadaro