BEIJING, March 8 -- Twenty hours after an aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines lost contact with ground control center, stories of Chinese people aboard the flight started to trickle through concerned friends, colleagues and families.
Representatives of Malaysia Airlines is en route to Beijing in two flights to assuage families and friends of those aboard the missing jet. The first flight is scheduled to arrive at around 10:20 p.m. while a second on lands around 0:42 a.m Sunday.
The missing plane carries a Chinese family of five, with the youngest Wang Moheng, 11 weeks away from his two-year-old birthday. The baby, travelling with his parents and grandparents, is supposed to have come back home in Beijing from a vacation.
The boy's father works as a director at the Boston Consulting Group.
His mother Jiao Weiwei, 32, used to work for an Internet company. A friend said Jiao quitted not long time ago to take care of his son at home, because she could not bear to say goodbye to the baby boy when she had to go to work.
"She often said that she smells her baby from head to toe," recalled a former colleague of Jiao, adding that she quitted three months later.
"People at the company really loved her."
A dozen of artists on an art exchange to Malaysia are also aboard the plane.
Meng Gaosheng, a member of the Chinese calligraphy artist association, led a 24-member delegation for an art exchange scheduled on March 5 in Malaysia.
His calligraphy work were highly sought after by connoisseurs at domestic auctions in October, according to media reports.
Memetjan Abra is also among the dozen of artists aboard the plane. His wife Nur Guli told Xinhua that he spoke with her briefly on Friday night, before the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur.
"He is a good painter, husband and father" she said, adding that she would fly to Beijing on Sunday. The couple has a 9-year-old daughter.
Zhang Meng, 28, works in All-China Federation of Trade Unions. She took the plane to come back from a business trip in Kuala Lumpur with her superior, according to her colleague. She got married last year.
She was planning to have kid, and according to China's newly revised family planning policy, she could have two as the only child of her parents.
On her chat-app WeChat account, Zhang said in November, "I wish myself and everyone to embrace the year of 2014 with warmth in their deep hearts. No matter in good times or bad, we may not put out the fire in our hearts."
Wang Dongcheng, a professor at China Youth University for Political Sciences who arrived in Beijing on Saturday after a trip to Nepal, said on his twitter-like Sina Weibo account on Saturday that nine of his 22 travelling companions were aboard the missing plane.
"Three of them took a small plane with me and my wife to fly over Mount Qomolangma. They took a lot of nice photos for us. What a wrenching goodbye when we parted for our separate flights," Wang said.
Chinese tech firm ZTE has also confirmed that one of its employee, Li Yanlin, is on the missing plane.
The company said it has set up a special team to actively engage with Li's family as well as with the airline and China's aviation authorities.
It added it is saddened by the incident and prayed for the safety of Li and all the others aboard.
A post widely circulated on Saturday at popular Chinese chat app WeChat sends a blessing for the missing jet: MH370, we hope the radar can see you. If you copy, keep flying at your current height until you reach your destination. We'll clear the way for you. Everybody is more than happy to let you be the first to land. The sky is clear, with temperature in Beijing at five degrees Celsius, a little bit cold. Please wear your coats to keep warm. Remember to hug your family and friends after you disembark. They love you, they really do.