SEPANG, March 8 — Local authorities are still trying to verify reports that missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has landed in Nanning in China, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said today.
Jauhari told a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) that a search and rescue operation is being conducted at the South China Sea when air traffic control last heard from the plane.
The plane is believed to have gone off radar when it was flying some 120 nautical miles off the coast of Kota Baru, between Vietnam and Malaysia.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all passengers and crew and their family members,” he said.
Jauhari said so far, there has been no distress signal received from the Boeing B777-200 aircraft, which lost contact with ground control from 2.40am, some two hours after it left KLIA.
He said the plane, piloted by 53-year-old Captain Zahari Ahmad Shah, has enough fuel to fly up to 8.30am.
“We didn’t issue the alert before 8.30 am because the aircraft had enough fuel till then. As we couldn’t contact them we then issued the alert to the media,” he said.
In a statement earlier this morning, MAS said that that flight MH370 lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am.
The Boeing B777-200 aircraft took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am this morning and was due to land in Beijing at 6.30am local time.
It was carrying 227 passengers including two infants and a total of 12 crew members.
The Malay Mail Online understands that MAS has sent out an email to its staff members, asking for 150 volunteers, preferably Mandarin-speaking, to go to China this afternoon as caregivers.
Jauhari said in a statement at 9.05am this morning that the plane is still being located by a search and rescue team.
Family members of the aircraft passengers and crew members have been told to wait at the Support Facility Building at KLIA’s South Support Zone.
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