Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370: Two New Zealanders Feared Dead in Lost Aircraft

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A Relative (Woman in White) of a Passenger Onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Cries as She Talks on Her Mobile Phone at the Beijing Capital International Airport on 8 March, 2014
A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital International Airport on 8 March, 2014. REUTERS

Two New Zealanders are feared dead as the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft with 239 people.

One of the passengers aboard the missing plane is a father to two young children, Engineer Paul Weeks. Mr Weeks, 38, was among the passengers listed in the manifest for flight MH370 bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. According to reports, air traffic control had lost contact with the plane two hours after it took off.

The family of Ximin Wang, the other Kiwi passenger, has been anxiously waiting for more details about their missing loved one. Mr Wang's family members had gathered in Auckland while authorities have yet to release significant updates.

On March 9, search and rescue teams from the Vietnam navy were hunting for traces of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane which carried 227 passengers and 12 crew members. Some unconfirmed reports had been circulating that the aircraft bound for Beijing had crashed in the South China Sea.

Mr Weeks, a New Zealander who moved to Perth in 2011, was on his way to Mongolia when he accepted a new job in the beginning of March.  Danica Weeks, his wife, revealed in an interview that she dropped her husband at Perth Airport last March 7 for his connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines.

Mr Weeks has two young children named Lincoln and Jack. Lincoln was born during the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch in 2010. He was one of the 21 babies born on that eventful day.

While Mr Weeks was waiting for his connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur, he sent a text to his wife that he was missing his family already. His wife told the media that it was his dream job. It would have been the first time that he will be away for 28 years.

Meanwhile, Mr Wang's family had come together to wait for news about their loved one. Mr Wang's nephew, Ned, said the family is just waiting for new information about the missing aircraft. He said the family was closely monitoring reports of the Malaysian Airlines plane.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been in contact with the affected families and provided consular assistance.

In a statement, Prime Minister John Key said "our thoughts are with all families of passengers" as they await news about the lost plane.

According to radar data posted on several aviation Web sites, they suggested a steep and sudden descent of the plane before contact was lost. There were no reports of a distress signal coming from the pilots.

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