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A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing, and a search-and-rescue operation has been launched.

Flight MH370 disappeared Saturday at 2:40 a.m. local time (1:40 p.m. Friday ET), about 2½ hours after taking off. The Boeing 777-200 was to have landed in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m. Friday ET), the airline said in astatement.

"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the carrier said.

The plane carried 227 passengers, including 2 infants, and 12 crew members.

The public may contact the airline at 603-7884-1234 for more information.

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