Passengers listed as missing were not on Malaysia plane, say their passports were stolen

By Daniel S Levine,

Two passengers who were listed among the 239 people on the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing early Saturday were not on the plane. Authorities and family members say that the two had their passports stolen in Thailand. Meanwhile, U.S. officials are investigating terrorist concerns.

Austria's Foreign Ministry confirmed that one of the passengers had a stolen Austrian passport, reports Reuters. A 30-year-old Austrian had owned the passport, but officials said it was stolen in Thailand back in 2012.

Luigi Maraldi of Italy was also listed as being on the plane, but the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that he was not on the plane. His passport was also stolen in Thailand over a year ago.

U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News that the reports on the stolen passports have sparked concerns of terrorism. There is no specific connection to terrorism, though.

It has been over 24 hours since the plane, a Boeing 777-200 on its way to Beijing, went missing. The search has involved ships from Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as the U.S. Navy. As previously reported, Vietnamese officials said that they spotted oil slicks which may be a sign that the plane has crashed.

There are three Americans among the passengers. There are also three infants aged 2, 3, and 4.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 
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