Mar. 8 - Search underway as contact is lost with Malaysian Airlines passenger plane bound for Beijing. Rough cut - no reporter narration.
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A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing lost contact with air traffic controllers early on Saturday (March 8), the airline said in a statement.
The plane is thought have have gone missing in Vietnamese airspace.
The airline said the last point of contact was 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu over the South China Sea.
Distressed family members of those on board had also begun gathering at Beijing airport on Saturday waiting for news.
Flight MH370, operating a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, left Kuala Lumpur at 12.21 a.m. (1621 GMT Friday) and had been expected to land in the Chinese capital at 6.30 a.m. (2230 GMT) the same day.
"We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370," Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search-and-rescue teams to locate the aircraft," it said.
An official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said the plane had failed to check in as scheduled at 1721 GMT while it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh city.
China's official Xinhua news agency also quoted the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as saying the flight lost contact while flying through Vietnamese airspace.
The CAAC said 158 Chinese nationals were on board the plane. China's aviation regulators said they had not received any signals from the plane and that there had been no reports of any aircraft crashing in Chinese waters.
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