Italian, Austrian did not board missing Malaysian airliner

Rome, March 8: Two people, an Italian and an Austrian, whose names were on the passenger list of the Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing while on way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur early Saturday, reportedly did not board the aircraft.

Italian passenger Luigi Maraldi, who was thought to be on the missing aircraft, is not in the aircraft as his passport was stolen in Thailand last August, local investigators announced Saturday.

The 37-year-old Italian man’s name was on the boarding list furnished by Malaysia Airlines which reported that its flight MH370 carrying 239 people had lost contact with air traffic control about two hours after leaving the Malaysian capital early Saturday.

Maraldi phoned his father Walter, a resident of Italy Cesena city, early Saturday morning to tell him that he was not on the missing plane but safely in Thailand, Xinhua cited his father as telling the Italian media.

“He phoned me before the news was reported in Italy. When Italian media said the Malaysian Airlines aircraft was missing, I already knew everything,” Walter said in an interview.

Walter also confirmed that his son’s passport had been stolen around one year ago.

“It is possible that someone used my son’s information. However, we had reported the theft to police, who are now investigating,” he said.

According to Italian media, the Italian man had reported the theft both to police in Thailand and then in Italy.

Italy’s foreign ministry confirmed Saturday that Maraldi was not on board the missing plane.

An Austrian, whose name was also on the boarding list of MH370, had his passport stolen as well.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry said that man was safe at home.

Malaysia Airlines, however, officially did not confirm both the cases.

IANS