Malaysia Airlines 'has lost contact' with airplane carrying 239 people: Carrier

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people bound for Beijing has lost contact with air traffic control after leaving Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said on Saturday. 

The airline said in a statement that Flight MH370 disappeared on Saturday at 2:40 am local time. It was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.

“Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft,” the carrier said.

The plane, a Boeing 777-200, left Kuala Lumpur 41 minutes after midnight Saturday, and had been due to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am local time.

A spokeswoman said she could not immediately provide further details.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) planes have had few accidents. One of the smaller Twin Otter aircraft, operated by MASwings, crashed upon landing in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island last October, killing a co-pilot and a passenger.

A jet crashed in 1977 in southern Malaysia, killing all 93 passengers and seven crew.