The lives we lost with the signal: Flight MH370 to Beijing

Lakeidra Chavis/ Editor-in-Chief

Mar. 11, 2014

In moments of absolute tragedy, you have to count on the hope to guide you.

As I am writing this, the fates of 239 passengers are still unknown after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared this past Saturday.

The flight, which departed from Kualu Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, around 12:50 a.m was supposed to land in Beijing, China about six hours later. It never did.

About two hours into the flight, air traffic controllers suddenly lost signal with the plane.

The Boeing 777, which has one of the best safety records in the world, was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, from 12 different nations. The pilot was a veteran with over 18,000 hours of flying time. 

The plane lost signal while it was over the sea, according to a rescue official who spoke to the Associated Press. There was no distress signal.

Officials across the world are weighing in on the cause, saying that whatever occurred, happened quickly. “The lack of communications suggests to me that something most unfortunate has happened,” said Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in an interview with CNN International.

Investigations into why the plane went missing also discovered that two passengers aboard were flying with stolen passports. The passports were stolen over a year ago, and they were purchased together.

Early Sunday morning, Vietnamese media began to report that a search plane found a possible door to the plane near the shore. So far, the three different countries have also deployed rescue missions to search for any signs of wreckage.

Despite these advancements, the story just gets stranger.

Oil spills found Saturday that could have been from the plane suggest that the plane had actually turned around. But if it did indeed do that, why was there still no distress signal?

How can a plane just vanish? What happened that was so quick it left oil spills, but no smoke, no wreckage or signals?

The story is still developing, but the impact the event has had on loved ones is inescapable.

Twenty-nine of the passengers were a group of Chinese artists returning from an exhibition in Kualu Lumpur, according to the Southern China’s Sunday Morning Post. Twenty passengers were all employees from a Texas-based company, eight of the group were from China and 12 were Malaysia. One woman in Texas posted on her Facebook page that an American man on the flight was her ex-husband and father of their children.

And two passengers were small children.

Maylasia Airlines is offering to send passengers’ family members to any potential crash site. However, problems are arising because not every relative has a passport. Some relatives are saying that they are being told very little, and getting most news updates from the media.

Judging from the news, there seems to be little hope for survival. If there are no survivals, it will be the largest death toll in the history of commercial flights in the past decade.

Despite the odds, we should all feel for the families and passengers who have had to experience this horror. 

It’s the least we can do.


Editor’s Note: This is a developing news story. This editorial was written on Sunday, so more up-to-date news can be found on the web.

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