Malaysian officials investigating the Beijing-bound plane that vanished Saturday say they haven’t ruled out terrorism as a cause. This, after authorities discovered two names on the plane’s passenger list belonged to Europeans whose passports had been stolen.
Malaysia Airlines released this list of passengers. The names Luigi Maraldi and Christian Kozel were on the list but were not on the plane. Both men reportedly had their passports stolen in Thailand.
Maraldi's father in Italy told NBC: “Luigi called us early this morning to reassure us he was fine, but we didn’t know about the accident. Thank God he heard about it before us.”
In light of the stolen passports, Malaysia’s Deputy Transport Minister told Malay Mail authorities are investigating foul play as a potential cause.
Still, officials are warning against jumping to conclusions — pointing out stolen passports could be used for other criminal purposes, like drug smuggling.
The Boeing 777 was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members when it left Kuala Lumpur Saturday. It lost contact with air traffic control about two hours after take-off — especially puzzling considering there was no bad weather. (Via Fox News)
The jetliner's location remains a mystery. State media in China and Vietnam are reporting it crashed near Vietnam, but Malaysian officials have not identified a crash site. (Via MSNBC)
The Vietnamese government reported Saturday its air force had spotted two large oil slicks between 6 and 9 miles long off the coast. Authorities suspect the slicks might be from the missing plane. (Via The New York Times)
The U.S. Navy has sent both a warship and a surveillance plane to search for the missing plane. The State Department has confirmed three Americans were on board.