Malaysia Airlines Flight Vanishes, Three Americans on Board

PHOTO: A woman wipes her tears after walking out of the reception center and holding area for family and friend of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, March 8, 2014.
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A Malaysia Airlines flight with 227 passengers on board - including two adult Americans and an infant - has gone missing and a search and rescue team has been deployed to locate the aircraft, a spokeswoman has confirmed to ABC News.

Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:55 a.m., and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., the airline said. It went missing two hours into the flight and disappeared off the radar northwest of Kota Bharu, Malaysia, in the South China Sea, at 6°33'05.4"N 103°20'39.5"E.

The airline said there are 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members on board the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

PHOTO: Flight path of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.
ABC News
PHOTO: Flight path of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.

A spokesman for Malaysia Airlines said Friday that the passengers included two adult Americans and a baby as well as travelers from Canada, Britain, Australia, France, India, the Netherlands, Russia and several other countries.

"We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370," the airline's chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement on Facebook.

"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft," Yahya said. "Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew."

The plane's route would take the aircraft from Malaysia across to Vietnam and China. Vietnam said on its official website that its air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane "in Ca Mau province airspace before it had entered contact with Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control." Ca Mau is near the southern tip of Vietnam.

PHOTO: In this photo released by Chinas Xinhua News Agency, reporters crowd at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport March 8, 2014 following a report that a Malaysia Airlines plane lost contact on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua/AP Photo
PHOTO: In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, reporters crowd at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport March 8, 2014 following a report that a Malaysia Airlines plane lost contact on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The plane was meant to transfer to Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control at 1722 GMT but never appeared, the statement said, citing a senior Ministry of Defense official.

Malaysia's defense minister told a news conference, "We are trying to do everything in our power to [determine] where the plane is."

He said that the country had launched C-130 search planes and helicopters. "We have deployed all the ships to the area," the minister said.

Vietnam's Ministry of Defense has launched rescue efforts to find the plane, working in coordination with Malaysian and Chinese officials, a government statement said.

"We have not discovered any wreckage yet," the Malaysian official said.

PHOTO: The arrival board at the International Airport in Beijing, China shows a Malaysian airliner is delayed, Saturday, March 8, 2014.
Ng Han Guan/AP Photo
PHOTO: The arrival board at the International Airport in Beijing, China shows a Malaysian airliner is delayed, Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Malaysia Airlines said the captain of the airliner, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was an experienced 53-year-old pilot who had 18,365 hours of flying since joining the airline in 1981. The first officer on the flight was identified as Fariq Hamid, 27, and had about 2,800 flight hours since 2007.

All countries in the possible flight path of the missing aircraft were performing a "communications and radio search," John Andrews, deputy chief of the Philippines' civil aviation agency, told the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the flight information board at the airport in Beijing indicated the flight was delayed.

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