South Park Resident Among Passengers On Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight
PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – One of the passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing early Saturday is a Pittsburgh resident.
Mei Ling Chng of South Park was one of the 239 people on the plane.
Ling is a process engineer at the Monongahela location of Flexsys America LP.
Spokeswoman Tracy Kilgore with Eastman Chemical Co., Flesys’ parent company, said an email was sent out to employees, letting them know their coworker, Chng, was aboard the missing flight.
Neighbors say Chng had only lived in her South Park home for a few months and had not gotten to know them well.
The Malaysia Airlines flight went missing about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on its way to Beijing, China.
Officials say a distress call was never sent and crews are still searching for wreckage or any sign of the plane.
Saturday afternoon, officials said they had spotted oil slicks which could have been a sign of the plane.
Vietnamese aircraft spotted what they suspected was one of the doors of a missing Boeing 777 on Sunday, while troubling questions emerged about how two passengers managed to board the ill-fated aircraft using stolen passports.
Interpol confirmed it knew about the stolen passports but said no authorities checked its vast databases on stolen documents before the Boeing jetliner departed Saturday.
Authorities were checking on the identities of the two passengers who boarded the plane with stolen passports. On Saturday, the foreign ministries in Italy and Austria said the names of two citizens listed on the flight’s manifest matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand.
Troubling details also emerged Sunday about the itineraries of the two passengers traveling on the stolen passports.
A telephone operator on a China-based KLM hotline confirmed Sunday that passengers named Maraldi and Kozel had been booked on one-way tickets on the same KLM flight, flying from Beijing to Amsterdam on Saturday. Maraldi was to fly on to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Kozel to Frankfurt, Germany.
She said the pair booked the tickets through China Southern Airlines, but she had no information on where they bought them.
As holders of EU passports with onward flights to Europe, the passengers would not have needed visas for China.
Interpol said it and national investigators were working to determine the true identities of those who used the stolen passports to board the Malaysia Airlines flight. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said the U.S. was looking into the stolen passports, but that investigators had reached no conclusions.
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