Airlines Presumed Crashed
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew was presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast on Saturday, and European officials said two people on board were using falseidentities.There were no reports of bad weather and no sign of why the Boeing 777-200ER would have vanished from radar screens about an hour
after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.”We are not ruling out any possibilities,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a news conference.By the early hours of Sunday, there were no confirmed signs of the plane or any wreckage, well over 24 hours after it went missing.
Operations will continue through the night, officials said.There were no indications of sabotage nor claims of an attack. But the passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans – Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi – who, according to their foreign ministries, were not in fact on the plane.A foreign
ministry spokesman in Vienna said: “Our embassy got the information that there was an Austrian on board. That was the passenger list from Malaysia Airlines. Our system came back with a note that this is a stolen passport.”Austrian police had found the man safe at home. The passport was stolen two years ago while he was travelling in Thailand, the spokesman said.
The foreign ministry in Rome said no Italian was on the plane either, despite the inclusion of Maraldi’s name on the list. His mother, Renata Lucchi, told Reuters his passport was lost, presumed stolen, in Thailand in 2013.U.S. and European security officials said that there was no proof of any terrorist link and there could be other explanations for the use of stolen passports.Passengers on board the flight included 20 employees of Austin, Texas-based chip maker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. Twelve of the employees were from Malaysia and eight from China, the company said in a statement.