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For relatives and friends of the passengers on board the still missing Malaysian flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the wait has been long and the shock very hard to absorb.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with 239 passengers, including 154 Chinese, lost contact with flight controllers shortly after take-off from Kuala Lumpur early on Saturday.

Hours later, at roughly 2pm, it was reported the plane had crashed into the waters of the coast of southern Vietnam. With information scarce and no new

s confirmed, the families and loved ones could do

but hope and pray.

at around 10 am at the international arrival hall of airport’s Terminal 3.

Zhang’s wife, Zhai Le, a 33-year-old Malaysian and had been at the airport since around 6 am, when airline was scheduled to arrive.

"We were planning to visit the Palace Museum and tou rist spots in Beijing. Later, we planned to go to Xi’an to see the terracotta warriors," he said. Zhang’s friend was in the construction business in Malaysia, he said.

"Now the only thing we can do is wait," said Zhai.

Some of the loved ones of the passengers unleashed their emotions and shed tears when faced by the media. Most declined interview requests before they were escorted away by airport security and driven to a designated hotel.

Some were unhappy with the slow reaction from the airlines.

"Nobody contacted us and we knew nothing until we saw the news on the TV," said a man who was at the airport with his sister.

His sister, who had her daughter, daughter-in-law and their child on board the flight declined an

interview request.

For many, social media has been the sole channel for them to learn about the latest information. The flight information board of international arrivals at the Beijing Capital International Airport showed that the airline was delayed until 12pm Saturday.

It was removed from the flight info board at approximately 1pm.

Liu Mengmeng, who works for a foreign company in Beijing, said he arrived at the airport to pick up an executive of his firm, only to find that he had to face a long wait.

"I can do nothing but keep scrolling on my phone screen for the latest information," he said. Others said they were merely told to wait for the latest news.

"I contacted the airlines and they told me to just wait," said a man surnamed Xiao who was picking up the wife of his boss at the airport.

Xiao, who works for a foreign company in Beijing, said his boss was on board another flight to Beijing and his wife is French.

The arrival hall was packed with media on Saturday morning and the loved ones of the passengers on board the flight were soon mobbed by reporters.

Later, the airport strictly limited media access to the worried relatives and friends of the passengers.


Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, lost contact early Saturday with the airline shortly into the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Government and airline officials said they weren't ready to speculate about what caused the Boeing 777-200 to disappear from radar. Here are five things to know about the flight and air safety.

上周六凌晨,载有239人的马来西亚航空(Malaysia Airlines) MH370航班从吉隆坡出发飞往北京,但在起飞不久后与地面指挥失去联系。政府和航空官员称,他们不准备任意猜测执飞该航班的波音777-200客机从雷达上消失的原因。以下是关于马航MH370航班和航空安全,人们需要了解的五件事。

#1: What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370?马航MH370航班出了什么事?

With 239 people aboard, the plane lost contact with air-traffic controllers shortly into the flight early Saturday. Cruising at roughly 35,000 feet, the plane was about a third of the way into its trip and traversing the South China Sea when Malaysian controllers lost touch and the pilots failed to report to Vietnamese controllers along their anticipated path, according to data provided by the carrier and authorities from both countries.

这架载有239人的飞机在上周六临晨起飞后不久与空中交通指挥员失去联系。马来西亚航空以及中国和马拉西亚当局提供的数据显示,当时该航班飞行在约3.5万英尺(约10,670米)的高度,正在横越南中国海,飞行路线已完成约三分之一,然而马拉西亚的空中交通指挥员与该飞机失去联系,飞行员没有沿着预期路径向越南的空中交通指挥员报告位置。 #2: Has anything like this happened before? 以前发生过这样的事情吗?

Air-safety experts have likened the sudden loss of contact and some other elements to the 2009 crash of an Air France jet into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Brazil to France; all 228 people on board were killed. The pilots on that plane also failed to issue any emergency calls and the wreckage wasn't recovered until two years later, demonstrating the challenge of search and rescue operations.

航空安全专家将此次马航MH370航班的突然失联和其他一些元素与2009年法国航空(Air France) 空难事件联系到一起。2009年一架法航班机在从巴西飞往法国的途中,从大西洋上空坠机。飞机上的228人全部遇难。当时,飞行员也没有发出任何紧急呼救,大部分飞机残骸两年后才找到,空难搜救工作的困难程度可见一斑。

#3: Why is it so difficult to locate lost planes?为什么定位失联飞机如此困难?

Today's airliners have sturdy emergency-locator devices designed to transmit signals in the event of a crash, as do so-called 'black boxes' that contain digital flight data and cockpit recordings. But without knowing the trajectory of a plane as it went down–or fully understanding wind and wave conditions if it crashed into water –searchers sometimes can end up crisscrossing huge areas looking for relatively small pieces of wreckage. Particularly deep water or rugged terrain can seriously hinder investigations.


#4: What technology do airlines use to track flights? 航空公司使用什么技术跟踪航班?

Carriers typically have dispatchers and operational-control centers tracking aircraft, often communicating with pilots via data links or even voice communications over satellite connections. In the event of a major mechanical problem or other onboard events that don't immediately require an emergency landing , cockpit crews can call on those experts for advice. On many planes, certain maintenance and operational data are automatically transmitted to ground facilities.


#5: What's the safety record of the 777?波音777飞机的安全记录如何?

The long-range Boeing 777 has had an exceptional safety record since entering service in May 1995. Malaysia Airlines was an early operator of an extended-range version and got its first in May 1997. There have been only two earlier 777 incidents during a flight that resulted in the loss of the aircraft. The first was in January 2008 when British Airways Flight 38 suffered icing inside its fuel lines after a long midwinter flight from Beijing crash-landed just short of London's Heathrow Airport, injuring 47. The second was Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which struck a sea wall on final approach to San Francisco International Airport in July 2013; three passengers were killed.


年5月份接收了首架波音777飞机,是较早使用这种远程飞机的运营商。此前波音777飞机在飞行过程只发生过两起造成机身严重损毁的事故。第一起事故发生在2008年1月份,当时英国航空(British Airways)从北京飞往伦敦的38航班由于在冬季远程飞行后燃油系统内部结冰而在希思罗(Heathrow Airport)机场附近迫降,导致47人受伤。第二起事故发生在2013年7月份,当时韩亚航空(Asiana Airlines)的214航班在旧金山国际机场着陆时撞到防波堤,造成3名乘客死亡。(via :华尔街日报中文版)