by Meghna Kumar
A Malaysia Airlines flight, a Boeing 777-200, went missing somewhere above the South China Sea on Saturday. The plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to the Beijing Capital Airport, in China. It departed at 12:41 a.m. Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing by 6:30 a.m., but air traffic controllers lost all signs of the plane two hours after take off, after it had flown about 120 nautical miles. Aboard the flight were a total of 227 passengers, which included two infants and 12 crew members. The passengers were from 13 different countries. Though the majority of passengers were Chinese, there were four Americans on board, as well. Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities have begun search operations, while the Chinese government sent rescue ships to the South China Sea. The plane and its passengers are yet to be found.
According to Malaysia Airlines, Zaharie Ahamad Shah, the 53- year old pilot of the flight, was experienced and had been working for the company since 1981. The plane was 11 years and 10 months old and had passed all of its safety inspections. The Boeing 777 model had a crash-free record until the July of 2013, when the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in San Francisco and killed three of its passengers.