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A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members went missing off the coast of Vietnam.

The Boeing 777-200 went missing during its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane is believed to have vanished while over the South China Sea, possibly while in Vietnamese airspace.

The international authorities in the region have begun a search-and-rescue mission, but Malaysian officials could not confirm reports that the plane had crashed into waters near Vietnam.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya claimed that the pilots had not sent a distress signal and no wreckage has been seen.

Hishammuddin Hessein, Malaysian Transport Minister, said that there was no reason to suspect terrorism but all possibilities were being examined.

Of the 239 total passengers on flight MH370, it is known that four are American citizens, including an infant.

Subang Air Traffic Control reported that contact was lost with the flight at 2:40 a.m. local time (1:40 p.m. Friday ET), just over two hours after take off. The plane was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m. Friday ET).

It has been reported that the Air traffic control received signal just one minute before it entered Vietnamese airspace, then lost all contact, including radar.

Territorial disputes over the South China Sea have been set aside for the moment as China dispatched two maritime rescue ships and the Philippines deployed three air force plans and three navy patrol ships.

Vietnam also sent aircraft and ships, while the Malaysian military has sent a second wave of helicopters and ships after an initial search revealed nothing.

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