A Look At Some Of The 239 People On Board The Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

Some faces behind the numbers.

Days after vanishing while flying between Vietnam and Malaysia, Flight MH370 is still missing and the whereabouts of the 239 men, women, and children aboard are unknown.

Following is a look at the lives of some of the missing.

1. High school sweethearts Hadrien Wattrelos, 17, and Zhao Yan, 18, are both students at Beijing’s Lycee Francais International de Pekin.

Although they lived and went to school in Beijing, both Yan and Wattrelos are French citizens who list Paris as their “hometown” on Facebook. They were returning from a two-week vacation in Malaysia, along with Hadrien’s mother and younger sister, the Associated Press reports.

Yan’s profile picture on Facebook is the two of them (above), and Wattrelos had recently posted another photo of them (below) with the caption “Je t’aime.”

2. Paul Weeks, 39, was one of two New Zealand passengers on board the plane.

In search of a better life, Weeks left Christchurch, New Zealand, and moved to Perth, Australia, in 2011 with his wife, Danica, and his two sons, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

He was headed to Mongolia to start a new job in the mining industry.

”He had just taken on a new role; that’s why he was heading to Mongolia,” Mr Weeks’ sister, Sara Weeks, told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”It was a really good job and he was going to be paid very well. He was excited and looking forward to getting started. It was going to set them up. When [his wife] kissed him goodbye she was hoping he would be back in a month.”

The other passenger from New Zealand was Ximin Wang, 50.

3. Philip Wood, 50, works at IBM and is from Texas. His mother, Sandra, told USA Today: “I know in my heart that Philip’s with God.”

AP Photo/Courtesy of the Wood family

Philip Wood has been working in Beijing over the past two years and was in the final stages of transferring to work for IBM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Wood is divorced with two sons, one who attends Texas A&M University and the other is an alumni of the same university.

He was one of three Americans on board the Malaysia Airlines flight. The other Americans aboard were children: Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, 2.

4. Australians Catherine, 54, and husband Robert Lawton, 58, live in Queensland and love traveling.

“They mentioned in passing they were going on another big trip and they were really excited,” Caroline Daintith, a neighbor said of the couple, who were described as loving grandparents.

5. The Lawtons were traveling with friends and fellow Australians Mary, 54, and Rodney Burrows, 59.

smh.com.au / Via The Sydney Morning Herald

Neighbors described the Burrows to the AP as hardworking parents of two grown daughters and a son. The couple had recently sold their home in Middle Park, as they prepared for retirement and a new stage in life.

6. Firman Chandra Siregar is a 25-year-old passenger from Medan, Indonesia, who was starting a three-year contract with Schlumberger, an oil-field services company.

AFP/AFP / Getty Images

Here, Siregar’s family mourns their loss. Risman Siregar (right) comforts his wife Erlina Panjaitan (center), as they expect the worst.

Firman Chandra Siregar was one of seven Indonesians on the flight.

7. Chandrika Sharma, 50, is the director of a Chennai, India, chapter of an organization that works with fishermen. She was on her way to Mongolia for a Food and Agriculture Organization conference.

“There must still be hope,” one of her colleagues, Venogupal, told the AP. “She was friendly and very loveable, very industrious and astute. We will miss her.”

Sharma’s daughter Meghana, a student in Delhi, arrived home on Sunday to be with her father, who was still in shock, the Times of India reported.

“He is in a state of inconsolable grief. Yesterday he managed to stick to his routines. But he did not come out of the house on Sunday,” said a friend close to the family. “He promised that he would eat. Some close friends of theirs are also staying with them. They chose to avoid media, they are still hoping for the best.”

8. Sydney couple Niajun Gu, 31, and Yuan Li, 33, live together in the peaceful waterfront town of Sutherland Shire, the Daily Telegraph reports.


The couple were traveling to China for a long-planned holiday, The Australian reports.

9. Pilot Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, a Malaysian, has a total flying time of 18,365 hours and has worked for the airline since 1981.

Shah has 18,365 hours of experience, the airline said in a statement.

Other than aviation, Shah allegedly runs a YouTube channel under the name of “Zaharie Shah,” where he uploads videos showing users how to fix everyday appliances.

10. The first officer, Fariq ab Hamid, is 27 and has been with Malaysia Airlines since 2007.

Prior to Flight MH370, Hamid was transitioning to work on the Boeing 777-200, CNN reports.

Hamid had also helped fly the plane from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, where he successfully landed it with the supervision of a senior pilot and a safety captain, according to CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, who was riding in the cockpit.

11. Meng Gaosheng, 63, a famed Chinese calligrapher, was on his way to a calligraphic and painting exhibition in Malaysia, the AP reports.

Gaosheng was traveling with 18 other artists, plus six family members and four staff.

“I can only pray for a miracle,” said Daniel Liau, who organized the exhibit in Malaysia.

“I feel very sad. Even though I knew them for a short time, they have become my friends,” Liau said. “All of them are very famous in China. Some of them are national-class artists while others are provincial-level artists.”

12. One of the younger members of the exhibit was Maimaitijiang Abula, 35, an art teacher at a college in Kashgar, China, who is known for his oil paintings.

China Daily / Via english.cri.cn

This is the group of Chinese painters who visited the exhibit in Malaysia together.

13. Artist Wang Linshi, 59, also attended the Malaysian exhibition.

Linshi was a prominent Chinese painter who has his art featured and sold in a number of galleries and Chinese exhibits.

14. Liu Rusheng, 76, was the oldest person on the plane and was on board the flight with his wife, Bao Yuanhua, 63.

The Star / Via thestar.com.my

He had also attended the art event in Malaysia. In China, he is a director of Nanjing Painting and Calligraphy Academy and is known for painting birds and flowers.

15. Ch’ng Mei Ling, 33, is a Malaysian national who moved to the Pittsburgh suburbs last October to work as a process engineer for Flexsys America LP, a company that manufactures and supplies chemicals for the rubber industry, WPXI reports.

A spokesperson for the company said that Ch’ng is “remembered fondly by her co-workers as being … pleasant and happy as well as well-respected.”

The woman who sold Ch’ng the Pittsburg home said she is “a very accomplished young woman. I’m just devastated to hear she was on that flight.”

16. Also traveling were a group of 20 employees of Austin-based semiconductor company Freescale, with eight Chinese and twelve Malaysian employees.


“At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Freescale, in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.”

17. A Canadian couple, Muktesh Mukherjee, 42, and, Xiaomo Bai, 37, are married and live in Beijing. The couple have two children, who were not on the flight. They left their sons in China and vacationed together in Vietnam.

Via Facebook

A friend of Mukherjee, Matthew McConkey, had visited the family recently in Beijing, the New York Times reports. He said his friends have “two wonderful little boys.”

“A big group of us went out,” said McConkey. “He [Mukherjee] was just always happy. Life had been good to him.”

“This is just a nightmare,” he said, noting that he was relieved that their children were safe in Beijing.

The couple posted photos on social media as recently as March 5 from a resort on the coast of Vietnam.

18. Mohd Sofuan Ibrahim, 33, was heading to start a new job at Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry branch in Beijing, and uploaded this picture right before the flight.

His former classmate, Hasif Nazri, told CNN that Ibrahim was “a good, kind-hearted friend, very helpful, cheerful and definitely no wallflower. He was a very good speaker and teachers remembered him as a very good student.”

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