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Malaysia Airlines jet vanishes off Vietnamese coast

BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 08: (CHINA OUT) Malaysia Airlines hold a press conference regarding the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at the Metropark Lido Hotel on March 8, 2014, in Beijing, China.
BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 08: (CHINA OUT) Malaysia Airlines hold a press conference regarding the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at the Metropark Lido Hotel on March 8, 2014, in Beijing, China.
Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

A Malaysia Airlines jetliner flying from the capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, early Saturday vanished shortly after take-off with 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard, the airline confirmed in a statement.

Air traffic control lost contact with the plane at 2:40 a.m. Saturday off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea.

“The last known position of MH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude),” the airline said.

“An international search and rescue mission was mobilized this morning. At this stage, our search and rescue teams from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam have failed to find evidence of any wreckage.”

Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday and was expected to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 a.m.

Passengers from 14 nationalities—made up of mostly Chinese and Malaysian nationals—were aboard the Boeing 777, a flight manifest obtained by Examiner.com said. Two Canadians were on the missing plane, later identified as Xiaomo Bai, 37, and Muktesh Mukherjee, 42.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family members of flight #MH370. I've asked all measures possible to be taken,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on his Facebook page.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board are monitoring the situation closely, a statement on their Twitter profile said. Boeing, the aircraft's manufacturer, said they were assembling a team to assist investigators with the incident: “Boeing offers it deepest concern to the families of those aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,” the manufacturer said.

No distress calls were received prior to the plane disappearing.