Early this morning the China southern Airlines jet disappeared out of thin air, leaving the public concerned and investigators on their toes. The plane happened to vanish while en-route to Beijing, holding a total of 239 passengers; 12 of which were crew members. The airline stated that the plane passed its most recent inspection, and had never had any problems in the past. They lost contact while the plane was at 35,000 feet; showing no signs of bad weather before losing connection.
The most unsettling news recently released was that two of the passengers aboard the plane were carrying stolen passports. The stolen passports were confirmed to be of an Italian and an Austrian that had been reported stolen in Thailand. Officials in the investigation have stated that it is still in its earliest stages and that they are continue to search and consider all possibilities, which now includes acts of hijacking and terrorism.
“At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity Saturday because of the continuing inquiry. “While the stolen passports are interesting, they don’t necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act.”
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, addresses the media as the search for the plane continues through the night. When pressured with questions regarding the security lapse and stolen passports he replies by stating that their airlines had no confirmation from the Malaysian authorities that passengers had boarded with stolen passports.
Currently, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the U.S. have dispatched guard vessels, naval ships, and aircraft to search the surrounding waters. They have also prepared a team of scuba divers for Sunday to search the waters where they believe the plane could have crashed.
The idea of this possibly being the deadliest commercial airline since Nov. of 2001 is terrifying. I tried looking on the airlines website and have yet to find any press releases, or information notifying the public. Talk about crisis communication! Even though nobody knows where the plane is or what happened – if they’re even survivors, it is still the company’s responsibility to remain in contact with the public. If they have nothing to update us on in regards to the disappearance then they could at least comfort the blow by informing the public of how well trained the staff is during a time of hardship. It looks poor on their part to not have anything on their website this far into the investigation.