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Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: From Names to Faces, A Peek at What Some of the Passengers of the Ill-Fated Plane Look Like

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 26, 2014 11:34 PM EST

A relative of five passengers who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before she speaks to Malaysian representatives during a briefing at Lido Hotel in Beijing April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
A relative of five passengers who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before she speaks to Malaysian representatives during a briefing at Lido Hotel in Beijing April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee

They have been collectively known as the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the subject of an intense international search operation that has been going on for almost two months.

However, save for a handful of them - like the two Iranians who were carrying stolen passports whose faces were splashed in newspapers days after the incident - most of these passengers remain names to a world eager to know what happened to them.

Actually, it is their bereaved relatives whose faces have been published, expressing their grief at the thought their kin may never be found at all and anger at the slow search and what they perceive as the Malaysian government hiding the truth from them.

With so much of the coverage focused on looking for the missing jet, The Wall Street Journal (TWSJ) decided to give more attention to the passengers and crew, minus their possible link with its disappearance such as some of them being employees Freescale Semiconductor, and instead presented them as persons who happen to be at the wrong time and at the wrong aircraft.

The revered business daily collected photos, postings on social media and interesting information about the people aboard the Boeing 777 that would surely touch the hearts of readers(http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/ImageGrid/?slug=0325PASSENGERS%3Fmod%3De2tw&mod=e2tw#slide=1176) .

TWSJ printed 25 photos of the passengers and crew. Some of them included the passenger with their families such as Wan Swaid Ismail of Malaysia whose photo included his wife and three kids and couple Sugianto Lo and Vinny Chynthya Tio of Indonesia with their two kids.

There was a photo of Australian couples Robert and Catherine Lawton and Rodney and Mary Burrows and Malaysian couple Muhamada Razahan Zamani and Norli Akmar Hamid.

Among the single photos were that of Firman Chandra Siregar of Indonesia with a man and woman beside him who are probably his parents, Philip Wood of the U.S., Maimaitijiang Abula of China and Kranti Shirsath of India.

A Chinese floral painting was used for Zhu Junyan of China, while for fellow Chinese Li Jie, TWSJ used a heart-shaped collage of photos pasted on a white board.

Others had a short description of why they were on that flight. Dai Shuling from China was returning from a vacation with her husband, son and his family, Vinod Kolekar of India and his wife and younger son were on their way to Beijing to visit their elder son Sanved, while Fariq Abdul Hamid  was the co-pilot with 2,760 flight hours, according to the factoids.

For others, TWSJ quoted what relatives said, such as Surti Dahlia Simanjuntak of The Netherlands whose niece, Irma Mirani, wrote, "My aunt is very kind, loving, and always ready to help her family financially."

Mohamad Soufan Ibrahim of Malaysia was described by his cousin, Latifah Ismail, as "a bright person, always cheerful." Art classmates of An Wenlan of China called her Grandma Plum Blossom.

TWSJ also included tweets about the newspaper's tribute to the 239 people on board the missing jet, and also postings from Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, such as a note to Chinese Ya Na, which read: "Ya Na, don't you always say that you have three lives? Come back; I want you to torment me more."

Read also

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Malaysia to Release Preliminary Report Next Week on Missing Jet

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Lack of Plane Debris Should Be Cue to Look for Missing Jet Elsewhere

16-Year-Old Stowaway from LA Survives 5 Hours inside Wheel Well of Hawaiian Airlines

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Despite Repeated Warnings, Hoax Video That Says Missing Jet Found in Indian Ocean Persists

Meanwhile, in a turnaround, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Raza, who is scheduled to release next week a preliminary report on the missing plane, said the Malaysian government would no longer officially declare the 239 people dead until it has more specific evidence of the accident.

"Although it is said the aircraft crashed, killing all passengers and crew, we take into account the feelings of the victims' relatives who have not given up hope of knowing the truth," Prensa Latina quoted the Mr Najib.

Even if American and British experts say the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean, the PM said it is also difficult for him to believe that since underwater search using high-tech equipment has yielded zero results so far.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A relative of five passengers who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before she speaks to Malaysian representatives during a briefing at Lido Hotel in Beijing April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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