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Missing plane: What we know and don’t know

On Monday, investigators appeared to be no closer to explaining how a large plane could seemingly disappear into thin air.

A large-scale search involving boats and planes from a range of countries continues at sea. Relatives of the people on board keep up their painful wait for news. Officials have warned them to prepare for the worst.

And theories abound about what may have taken place.

Until clearer information comes to light, here’s a summary of what we know and what we don’t know about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

THE FLIGHT PATH

What we know: The Boeing 777-200 took off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, at 12:41 a.m. Saturday (Friday afternoon ET). It was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day, after a 2,300-mile (3,700-kilometer) journey. But around 1:30 a.m., air traffic controllers in Subang, outside Kuala Lumpur, lost contact with the plane as it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.

What we don’t know: What happened next. The pilots did not indicate any problem to the tower, and no distress signal was issued. Malaysian military officials cite radar data as suggesting the plane might have changed course and turned back toward Kuala Lumpur before it vanished. But the pilots didn’t tell air traffic control that they were doing so. And at this point, we don’t know why the plane would have turned around.

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