A high school romance or close friendship has emerged as one tragic story from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, with two students of Beijing’s Lycee Francais International de Pekin listed as being aboard the flight.
French teens Hadrien Wattrelos and Zhao Yan both appeared on a passenger manifest published by Malaysia Airlines Saturday evening. Both are enrolled at the Lycee Francais International de Pekin, also known as the French School, a former French School parent and student told the Beijinger. Based on ages included on the passenger list, Wattrelos is now 17, Zhao, 18. Lycee Francais representatives could not be reached for comment Saturday night.
Although neither had included "relationship status" as part of their public profile on Facebook, the two were clearly very close. Wattrelos appears in Zhao’s profile photo. Both listed Paris, France as their hometown on Facebook, and both are French citizens.
Two other passengers on the manifest, Laurence Wattrelos, 52, and Ambre Wattrelos, 14, are believed to be Hadrien’s mother and sister, respectively. Ambre is also a student at the French School and Laurence is listed as vice president of the Association des Parents D’Eleves du Lycee Francais International de Pekin, a French parent-teacher organization, on that group’s website.
They are among 239 passengers and crew that went missing after flight MH 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur after midnight Saturday, and lost contact with air traffic control about two hours later. The plane was scheduled to land at about 6:30am Saturday morning.
Other Beijingers among the missing are husband and wife Muktesh Mukherjee and Bai Xiaomo, who are Canadian citizens and parents of two small children. According to the manifest, their children did not appear to be traveling with them.
As of 11pm Beijing time, no sign of the plane has been found, although latest news reports indicate that Vietnamese search teams are looking into oil slicks that could have been caused by a plane crash. Live updates on the search are available on the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and China Daily.
Editor’s note: the images originally accompanying this blog post have been removed at the request of the Wattrelos family.