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Malaysian Missing Airliner Latest: Search Continues: US Sends Destroyer, Investigators: Texas Firm Had Passengers

By: ap
By: ap
US to assist in Malaysia air crash investigation... US Navy sends destroyer to help in plane search... Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared... Search resumes for missing Malaysian jetliner... Austin tech firm had 20 employees on missing plane... Family says Texas man on missing Malaysian plane...

This photo taken in April, 2013, shows a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Narita Airport in Narita, near Tokyo. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact with air traffic control early Saturday morning, March 8, 2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located the jetliner several hours later. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal safety officials say a team of experts is en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared with 239 people on board.
The team includes accident investigators from National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.
The Boeing 777-200 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
The safety board said in a statement Saturday the team was sent now because of the travel time involved even though the plane hasn't yet been found.
The board said that once the plane is found, International Civil Aviation Organization protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Navy says it has dispatched a warship to aid in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is on its way from international waters in the South China Sea to the southern coast of Vietnam to assist in the search for flight MH370. The Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard was flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it fell off radar screens early Saturday.
The Pinckney carries two helicopters that can be used for search and rescue. It is expected to reach the search area within 24 hours.
Additionally, the Navy is deploying an Orion patrol and surveillance plane based in Okinawa. It will bring long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the search mission.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing. Rarely do incidents happen when a plane is cruising seven miles above the earth.
So the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet well into its flight Saturday morning over the South China Sea has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
It could take investigators months, if not years, to determine what happened to the Boeing 777 flying from Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Some possibilities include structural failure, bad weather, engine failure or a criminal act.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Planes and ships from across Asia are continuing a massive search for a Malaysian jetliner that's been missing with 239 people on board for more than 24 hours.
There is still no confirmed sighting of wreckage from the Boeing 777 in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam where it vanished from screens early Saturday morning en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The weather was fine, the plane was already cruising and the pilots had no time to send a distress signal -- unusual circumstances for a modern jetliner to crash.
The administrator of China's Civil Aviation Administration says some debris has been spotted, but it's unclear whether it came from the plane. Vietnamese authorities say they've seen nothing close to two large oil slicks they saw Saturday that might be from the missing plane.
Meanwhile, Malaysian aviation authorities are investigating how two passengers were apparently able to get on the aircraft using stolen passports.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- An Austin, Texas, technology company says 20 of its employees were aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing over the South China Sea.
Jacey Zuniga, a spokeswoman for Freescale Semiconductor, says 12 Malaysian and 8 Chinese employees are "confirmed passengers." She says no American citizen Freescale employees were on the flight.
"At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families," Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Freescale says in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event." The company, the statement reads, has assembled a team of counselors for those impacted by the tragedy.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 airplane, was last seen on radar at 1:30 a.m. (1730 GMT Friday) above the waters where the South China sea.

KELLER, Texas (AP) -- The family of Philip Wood says the IBM employee was on board the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that went missing over the sea while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.
Les Williams, a family friend, says Wood was on board the plane but declined to elaborate, saying the family will issue a statement Monday.
Williams spoke Saturday from the Keller, Texas, home of Aubrey Wood, the passenger's father. A LinkedIn profile that Williams says belongs to Wood, says he is a Technical Storage Executive at IBM Malaysia.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 airplane, was last seen on radar at 1:30 a.m. (1730 GMT Friday) above the waters where the South China Sea meets the Gulf of Thailand. Two other American citizens also were on board flight MH370.


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