A father of two young sons is one of two New Zealanders
feared dead in a mysterious Malaysia Airlines flight
Engineer Paul Weeks, 38, was listed as being on flight MH370
from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing which lost contact with air
traffic control two hours after take off at 7.40am NZ time
Family of the other Kiwi listed as being on board, Ximin
Wang, 50, were last night gathering in Auckland to wait for
details of the accident. He lived in the Auckland suburb of
Search and rescue crews from the Vietnam navy were last night
looking for traces of the flight, which was carrying 227
passengers, including two babies, and 12 crew.
There were unconfirmed reports it had crashed in the South
China Sea, but at press time last night, Malaysia Airlines
had not confirmed a crash.
Weeks, who moved to Perth in 2011, was en route to Mongolia
where he had taken up a new job at the start of the month.
His wife Danica told the Herald on Sunday that she had
dropped him at Perth Airport on Friday to catch a connecting
flight at Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines.
She was too distraught to comment further.
The pair have two young sons, Lincoln and Jack. Lincoln was
born during the chaos of the first Christchurch 7.1 magnitude
earthquake in 2010.
He was among 21 babies born on the day, setting a record for
Christchurch Hospital for the highest number of births on a
At the time, Danica Weeks told One News that it was amazing
they'd got through two traumas in one day.
"It was sort of like 'gosh did we cause this, is this part of
it, does the earth move?"' she said.
Paul Weeks said he would tell his son Lincoln that his birth
had caused the earthquake.
Weeks attended Aranui High School in Christchurch before
studying at the University of Canterbury.
Wang's distraught family members gathered last night as
details emerged about the tragedy.
"We're still waiting for the information to come out," Wang's
nephew Ned said.
He added they were closely following news reports of the lost
"We don't want to talk about this at this very moment because
my aunty really needs to get her rest," he added.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had been in
contact. It last night confirmed it was providing consular
assistance to the families of the two New Zealanders listed
Prime Minister John Key last night said: "Our thoughts are
with all families of passengers on Flight MH370 as they wait
Radar data posted on aviation websites suggested a steep,
sudden descent of the aircraft before contact was lost. There
was no indications that pilots had sent a distress signal.
The aircraft was last seen about halfway between Kuala Lumpur
and Ho Chi Minh City, in southeast Vietnam.
A Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand said information was
"We are praying for the best outcome," the diplomat said.
Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am (5.41am NZT)
and was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am (11.30am NZT).
The passengers were of 14 different nationalities with
Chinese making up 152 of those on board. There were also six
Australians on the doomed aircraft.
A list of passenger names from flight MH370 was made
available by Malaysia Airlines last night.
Kiwi pilot and aviation commentator Peter Clark was
"extremely shocked" to hear a Boeing 777 was in trouble.
"It's a fantastically designed, strong aircraft.
"That airline is very important to New Zealand. It operates
from here to Kuala Lumpur using the same type of aircraft."
A Malaysia Airlines flight is due to depart Auckland Airport
at 2.30pm today.
Last night the flight was scheduled to go ahead.
- by John Weekes and Amy Maas, Herald on Sunday