Malaysia Airlines said the plane had 227 passengers aboard, including two infants, and an all-Malaysian crew of 12. The passengers included 154 citizens from China or Taiwan, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans, as well as two citizens each from Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine and one each from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia.
Hamid Ramlan posted a photo of her daughter and son0in-law posed with relatives before taking off from Kuala Lumpur airport. The two Canadian passengers were identified as mining executive Muktesh Mukherjee and his wife Xiaomo Bai. Philip Wood, 51, is the only adult passenger onboard flight MH370 who was using a U.S. passport. Toddlers Leo Meng, 2, and Nicole Meng, 4, are two other Americans onboard the missing aircraft, Mail Online reported.
The list of Chinese passengers aboard the missing flight included the names of artists who had attended a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, said the newspaper Beijing News, quoted by The New York Times. Other reports said the missing included members of a returning delegation of Buddhists.
A spokesman for the airline said, ”We would like to inform everyone that these are the people onboard our aircraft. All the families and next of kin have been informed.” The passengers list shows that at least five Indian citizens boarded the plane from Kuala Lumpur. They are Chandrika Sharma, Prahlad Shirsat, Chetana Vinod Kolekar, Vinod Suresh Kolekar and Swanand Vinod Kolekar.
Fears the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that vanished off the coast of Vietnam could be terrorism-related are heightening and American officials said on Saturday they are investigating terrorism concerns. It has been reported that two passengers who were listed on the plane’s manifest – an Italian and an Austrian – were not actually on the flight.
Italian passenger Luigi Maraldi, who was thought to be on the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft, had his passport stolen in Thailand last August, local investigators announced Saturday. “We are aware of the reporting on the two stolen passports,” one senior US official told NBC News. “We have not determined a nexus to terrorism yet, although it’s still very early, and that’s by no means definitive.”
The Austrian man reported the lost of passport in 2012. He is currently staying in Austria and in good health, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss told China’s Xinhua news agency in telephone. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said when he was asked whether terrorism was suspected as a reason for the plane’s disappearance, “We are looking at all possibilities, but it is too early to make any conclusive remarks.”
Pilot David Learmount, who is operations and safety editor of Flight Global magazine, said, “Something happened and the pilots did not tell anyone.” The Austrian was found safe at home, a ministry spokesman said. Speaking to Sky News, aircraft expert Chris Yates said, “We simply don’t know the circumstances behind what caused that crash at the moment. There will be two areas for the investigation: the maintenance of the aircraft and also possible terrorism.”
The spokesman said, “We believe that the name and passport were used by an unidentified person to board the plane.” Meanwhile, Italian news agency ANSA said Luigi Maraldi called home after hearing reports that an Italian with his name was aboard the plane.