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North Texas Man Among Passengers On Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane

Madeline Schmitt | CBSDFW.com |
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This story was updated at 6:23 p.m. on March 9

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - A North Texas man from Keller is among the 239 missing passengers on an airplane that lost contact with Malaysia Airlines Saturday.

The man has been identified as Philip Wood, a 50-year-old who works for IBM, according to his father.

A photo of Philip Wood from his ex-wife's Facebook page (courtesy: Elaine Wood FB page)

A photo of Philip Wood from his ex-wife’s Facebook page (courtesy: Elaine Wood)

Wood’s father says he was contacted by the Malaysian Embassy regarding his son being on flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. He has yet to be contacted by IBM or Malaysia Airlines, however.

Wood’s ex-wife Elaine posted a status to her Facebook page Saturday saying Wood “was a wonderful man. Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now.”

On Sunday, the Wood family released this statement:

“Philip Wood was a man of God; a man of honor and integrity. His word was gold. Incredibly generous, creative, and intelligent, Phil cared about people, his family, and above all, Christ.

Though our hearts are hurting, we know so many families around the world are affected just as much as us by this terrible tragedy. We ask for your prayers, not only for ourselves, but for all involved during this difficult time.

As a family, we are sticking together through Christ to get through this. Thank you for understanding.”

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft departed at 12:41 a.m. Saturday, and was expected to land at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Flight controllers lost contact with flight MH370 about two hours into its journey.

A map detailing the flight path of MH370 (courtesy: Flight Aware)

A map detailing the flight path of MH370 (courtesy: Flight Aware)

The plane’s last known location was over Vietnam.

Airline officials reported that among the 239 on board, four of those are American.

Most of the plane’s passengers are from China, with additional passengers from other parts of Asia, and North America and Europe.

Malaysia Airlines has activated search and rescue teams. On Saturday, Vietnamese air force planes reported seeing two oil slicks in the ocean near over the plane’s  last known location.

The U.S. Navy says it has dispatched a warship to aid in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is on its way from international waters in the South China Sea to the southern coast of Vietnam to assist in the search for flight MH370.

The Pinckney carries two helicopters that can be used for search and rescue. It is expected to reach the search area within 24 hours.

Additionally, the Navy is deploying an Orion patrol and surveillance plane based in Okinawa. It will bring long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the search mission.

email: mschmitt@cbs.com

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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