Freescale Semiconductor, a Texas-based company that plays a role in the performance of every NASCAR Sprint Cup car, announced it had 20 employees on missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
More than a day and a half has passed since the Boeing 777 disappeared from radar screens in the first hour of a six-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Reports indicate investigators have not ruled out a terrorist act.
Vietnamese authorities searching the Gulf of Thailand for the missing located an object Sunday that they suspected was one of the plane’s doors, as international intelligence agencies joined the investigation into two passengers who boarded the aircraft with stolen passports.
No confirmed debris from the plane had been found, The Associated Press reported about 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The final minutes before it disappeared remained a mystery. The plane, which was carrying 239 people, lost contact with ground controllers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam after leaving Kuala Lumpur early Saturday for Beijing.
Freescale is a global provider of data-gathering components for vehicles and other devices. It provides the processors to McLaren that are part of the electronic control units that run the fuel-injection systems of all Cup cars.
In a news release, Freescale said it had 12 employees from Malaysia and eight from China on the flight.
“At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families,” said Gregg Lowe, Freescale’s president and CEO. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.”
The United States was participating in the search operation. A team of American experts was en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation into the crash. The team includes accident investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, the safety board said in a statement.
The missing plane apparently fell from the sky at cruising altitude in fine weather, and the pilots were either unable or had no time to send a distress signal — unusual circumstances under which a modern jetliner operated by a professional airline would crash.
Authorities were checking on the identities of the two passengers who boarded the plane with stolen passports. On Saturday, the foreign ministries in Italy and Austria said the names of two citizens listed on the flight’s manifest matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand.
The family of a North Texas man who was aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing says they saw him about a week ago when he visited home.
“There is a shock, a very surreal moment in your life,” James Wood says. He is the brother of Philip Wood, one of three Americans on the Boeing 777. Wood spoke via telephone from the family’s home in Keller.
Philip Wood LinkedIn page lists him as a Technical Storage Executive at IBM Malaysia. He visited Keller last week before relocating to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Beijing, where he’d worked for two years.
James Wood says the family’s faith is keeping them together.
“We are one family, there are 240 other families. Our hearts go out to them,” he says.
Contributing: Associated Press