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Shortly before 1:00 am on March 8, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER took off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing China. On board were 227 passengers (two thirds of whom were Chinese) and 12 Malaysian crew. Shortly after takeoff, the plane’s transponder and automatic messaging systems went down (or were shut off) and the plane made a preprogrammed turn off course, heading west back over the Malay peninsula and out to the Indian Ocean. By the time MH370 was an hour overdue in Beijing, Malaysia Airlines announced that it had lost contact with the flight.

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