The world over, desperate families await news of MH370

The world over, desperate families await news of MH370

HONG KONG - The family of Muktesh Mukherjee, a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, are praying that disaster has not struck twice.

 

The 42-year-old's grandfather, a former Indian government minister, was killed in a plane crash on the outskirts of New Delhi in 1973.

"Miracles do happen. We pray it will happen this time and Muktesh will come back to us," his uncle Manoj Mukherjee told AFP in the Indian city of Kolkata.

Muktesh, an Indian-born Canadian who works for US firm XCoal in Beijing, was heading home on flight MH370 with his Chinese wife Xiaomo Bai.

Just days ago she posted photos on Facebook of an idyllic coastal resort in Vietnam, where the couple were holidaying. Other recent photos show their two small sons laughing as they played in the snow in Beijing.

The uncle said family members were flying from India to Beijing to take care of the boys, who did not join their parents on the trip.

The Mukherjees are among dozens of families around the world desperate for news of the plane that vanished with 239 people aboard early Saturday, an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for the Chinese capital.

The oldest missing passenger is 79; the youngest is just two.

Nearly two-thirds of those on board were Chinese. The rest hail from 14 other nations stretching from Canada to New Zealand, the United States to Ukraine.

Their reasons for heading to Beijing hint at China's growing might as a business destination, a place of study, and a stop on the tourist trail.

The missing include retired holidaymakers, 20 Asian workers from a US semiconductor company, three French high-school students, and a group of Chinese artists who were in Malaysia for an exhibition.

Stoking fears of terrorism, two passengers boarded using stolen passports from Italy and Austria. But nothing is confirmed about what might have befallen the plane, and families are forced to endure an agonising wait in a vacuum of information.

 

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