2 passengers used stolen passports to board missing plane
MANILA, Philippines – The passports of two individuals listed as passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft on Saturday, March 8, were actually stolen, and their owners are in fact, safe and sound.
Officials and family members said an Austrian and an Italian thought to have been missing were alive and well.
Italian Luigi Maraldi, 37, was on the passenger list, but his passport had been stolen. He phoned home from Thailand to let his family know he was safe – and before his father saw the news.
"I turned on (rolling television news channel) RAI News24 and I saw what had happened. Thankfully, everything is okay. Luigi is on holiday, he's coming home in 3 weeks," his father told news agency Ansa.
Malaysia Airlines also contacted the Austrian foreign ministry, saying that the name of an Austrian was on the passenger list of the plane, a spokesman for the ministry said.
"We contacted the person to whom the passport belonged. This person is in Austria and safe and sound. His passport was stolen in 2012 on a trip to Thailand," Austrian foreign ministry spokesman Martin Weiss told Agence France-Presse.
As the search for the aircraft continues, the company on Saturday evening, March 8, released the list of passengers who were on board flight MH 370.
The Boeing 777-200 plane was carrying 227 passengers from 14 different nationalities and 12 crew members.
View the list of passengers below:
Earlier, the airline release a list of the passengers' nationalities.
- China – 152 passengers plus 1 infant (China's state television Xinhua reported 158)
- Malaysia - 38
- Indonesia - 12
- Australia - 6
- France - 3
- United States of America – 3 passengers plus 1 infant
- New Zealand - 2
- Ukraine - 2
- Canada - 2
- Russia - 1
- Italy - 1
- Taiwan - 1
- Netherlands - 1
- Austria - 1
Flight MH370 disappeared at 2:40 am local time (1840 GMT Friday), near the Vietnamese airspace about two hours after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It had been due to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am local time (2230 GMT Friday).
Vietnam said it has spotted oil slicks in the sea where the Malaysia Airlines plane was believed to have disappeared. Vietnamese have been sent to check the area.
A Southeast Asian search rescue operations for the Malaysian place is currently underway. China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore have sent vessels and jets for the effort. – with Agence France Presse