A worldwide search is under way for a Malaysian passenger jet that appears to have vanished while flying more than 200 passengers over Southeast Asia.
As of Tuesday, investigators still seem to have no clue about what happened or where these hundreds of people might be.
The giant Boeing 777-200 left Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, at 12:41 a.m. Saturday (Friday afternoon ET), and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day. What was supposed to be a routine commercial flight became a mystery around 1:30 a.m., when air traffic controllers stationed outside Kuala Lumpur lost contact with the plane as it flew over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.
As for the moments leading up to the plane’s disappearance, the pilots reportedly did not mention any problems or send any distress signals to air traffic control. The weather conditions were good, and the jet was in the “safest point in the flight,” according to an aviation expert.
The plane might have been headed back to Kuala Lumpur before it vanished, according to Malaysian military officials, but the pilots had not informed the tower they would be doing so.
Ten countries have contributed a total of 40 ships and 34 planes to assist in the ongoing, large-scale search at sea, but officials have warned relatives of the flight’s passengers to prepare for the worst.