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MH370: 1st chapter of Straits Times Web Special focuses on stories of passengers

Published on Apr 6, 2014 5:19 PM
Malaysian Buddhists offer prayers for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Like many other rural Chinese youth, Mr Wang Yongqiang had dreams of leading a better life.

After seeing how young men from his Hebei village earned enough money from working overseas to build two-storey houses for their families, he decided to follow suit and try his luck in Singapore.

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 special report

A year later, the 29-year-old construction worker had saved enough money to repair the leaking roof of his house.

He also bought a 1,800 yuan ring for his wife of seven years. He would give it to her when he returned home.

In a phone call to his family before boarding his flight, Wang said: "Tell all our relatives I am coming home. I can't wait to see everyone."

Mr Wang's family waited eagerly for his arrival, even preparing fish and chicken for a celebratory dinner. Little did they expect that those words would be the last they would ever hear from him.

Mr Wang was one of the 239 people on board MH370, the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines plane that disappeared in the wee hours of March 8.

The Straits Times Web Special, Lost: The Untold Stories of MH370, puts together the puzzle pieces of the mystery.

Each of its six chapters focuses on one aspect of the incident, from stories of the crew on board to the massive multi-national search effort.

It also includes interactive graphics such as an explanation on how a transponder works and also a series of videos on the search efforts and chaotic scenes at the briefing sessions in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 special report