Here is a timeline of events in the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner which vanished from radar screens on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on Saturday:
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Flight departs at 12:21 a.m. (12.21 p.m. ET Friday), and is due to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. (6.30 p.m. ET) the same day
- On board the Boeing 777-200ER are 227 passengers and 12 crew.
- Airline loses contact with plane between 1-2 hours after takeoff.
- No distress signal is given, and weather is clear at the time.
- Missing plane last has contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.
- Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) says plane failed to check in as scheduled at 1721 GMT while flying over sea between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City.
- Flight tracking website flightaware.com shows plane flew northeast over Malaysia after takeoff and climbed to altitude of 35,000 feet. The flight vanished from website's tracking records a minute later while still climbing.
- Malaysia and Vietnam conduct joint search and rescue operation. China says dispatches two maritime rescue ships to the South China Sea to help in search and rescue. U.S. says also sends ships and plane to help.
- Malaysia search ships see no sign of wreckage in area where flights last made contact.
- Airline says flight was carrying 154 people from China and Taiwan, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians and six Australians. Manifest shows other nationalities as being from: India, France, United States, New Zealand, Ukraine, Canada, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria.
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang calls Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, urges Malaysia quickly and vigorously push search and rescue work.
- Vietnam says giant oil slick and column of smoke seen in its waters.
- Two men from Austria and Italy, listed among the passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight, are not in fact on board. They say their passports were stolen.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
- Malaysia Airlines says fears worst and is working with U.S. company that specializes in disaster recovery.
- The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board dispatches team to Asia to help investigate incident. Technical advisers from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing also fly to Asia.
- Malaysian authorities investigate identities of at least two other passengers in addition to two who were found to be using stolen passports.
- Malaysian Transport and Defence Minister says Malaysian investigators meet counterparts from the U.S. FBI.
- Radar indicates flight may have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before disappearing.
- Malaysian rescue teams expand their search to the country's western coast.
- Malaysian authorities pore over CCTV footage and question immigration officers and guards at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, concerned that a security breach may be connected to incident.
- Interpol says at least two passports recorded as lost or stolen in its database were used by passengers, and it is "examining additional suspect passports".
- Malaysia's state news agency quotes Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying the passengers using the stolen European passports were of Asian appearance.
- Investigators narrow focus of inquiries on possibility plane disintegrated in mid-flight, a source who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia tells Reuters.
- Vietnamese navy plane spots an object suspected of belonging to the airliners. Too dark to be certain the object is part of plane. More aircraft to be dispatched to investigate the site, in waters off southern Vietnam, in the morning.