In Kuala Lumpur, relatives of those missing on the disappeared Malaysia Airways flight MH370 anxiously await fresh news.
The airline told passengers’ next of kin to come to the airport with their passports in preparation to fly to a potential – as yet unidentified – crash site.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak came to Kuala Lumpur airport to offer his support to the families.
People from at least 14 nationalities are reported to be on the flight. They are mostly Chinese (152 nationals) and Malay (38), but there are also four French people, two Ukrainians, one Russian and a Dutch person on the passenger list.
Early reports of there being Italian and Austrian nationals on board have since been refuted. An Italian man originally named on the passenger list has apparently called his father from Thailand to say he is safe and well. Meanwhile, the Austrian foreign ministry has confirmed a citizen of its country who was at first believed to be on board, had actually had his passport stolen.
Meanwhile, in Beijing, it’s a similar story. The flight was due to land there in the early hours of Saturday morning. Relatives of those on board are still waiting for news; many say they are being kept in the dark.
The flight remained on the arrivals board in the airport for up to six hours after it was due to land.
Malaysia Airlines’ top official said the aircraft last made contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.
The country has reportedly sent three maritime enforcement ships and a navy vessel to the area, backed by three helicopters, but China is urging them to do more.
China is also conducting search operations, as well as Vietnam and Singapore.
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