Mar 11, 2014 08:28 PM EDT
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Missing Plane Update [PHOTOS] A Look Into the Lives of Some of the Missing Passengers of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

By Jobs & Hire Staff Reporter

Missing plane update -- with the search for the missing plane and it's more than 200 passengers still ongoing, their relatives as well as people around the world are getting more and more frustrated with the lack of tangible discoveries.

A recent missing plane update showed the names of all the 239 men, women and children who disappeared along with the jet. Here's a quick look into the lives of those who disappeared:

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

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Although the couple lived and studied in Beijing, both Wattrelos and Yan are French citizens who list Paris as their "hometown" on Facebook. The pair was on their way home after a two-week vacation in Malaysia, along with Hadrien's mother and younger sister, according to the Associated Press.

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.

Paul Weeks moved to Perth, Australia three years ago in 2011 along with his wife, Danica, and their two sons, according to Sydney Morning Herald. Moving away from their hometown in Christchurch, New Zealand became necessary after Weeks decided that he and his family could have a better life.

Weeks was traveling to Mongolia after getting 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.”

Philip Wood has been employed in Beijing for the last two years and was in the middle of preparing for his transition to work for the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia branch of IBM.

Wood, who was one of the three Americans on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, is divorced with two sons, one who attends Texas A&M University and the other is an alumni of the same university.

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.

According to the Associated Press, the Burrows' neighbors described them as "hardworking parents of two grown daughters and a son." Only recently, the couple managed to sell their Middle Park home, as they prepared to enjoy their retirement and open a new chapter in their lives.

 

6. Fireman 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.

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, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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

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.

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 was 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.

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.

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 Freescale Chief Executive Officer Gregg Lowe in an official 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.

A friend of Mukherjee, Matthew McConkey, had visited the family recently in Beijing, according to the New York Times. 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 uploaded photos on Facebook as recently as March 5 from the resort they were vacationing on along 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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