Friends Fear USC Graduate Student Was Aboard Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

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    USC graduate Joy Xing was one of 239 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the university confirmed on Friday. Xing was traveling to Beijing as part of her job training with Shell Oil. Conan Nolan reports from Alhambra, where he spoke with some of her friends, for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 14, 2014.

    Friends fear a 27-year-old University of Southern California graduate student was among the 239 passengers on board a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing last weekend.

    USC officials confirmed Qiao Xing graduated in December 2012 with an MS in Petroleum Engineering. 

    The school did not confirm Xing was aboard the plane, but her name appears on the passenger manifest and friends told NBC4 they fear she was among the passengers. Her friends told NBC4 they have not heard from her since the plane's disappearance nearly one week ago.

    Friends Fear USC Grad Student Was Aboard Missing Flight

    [LA] Friends Fear USC Grad Student Was Aboard Missing Flight
    The grad student, who studied engineering at USC, was in Malaysia for training with her company, friends said. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday March 14, 2014.

    Xing is an employee with Shell Oil Company in Beijing, according to her Linkedin profile. Friends at USC told NBC4 she was in Malaysia as part of training with the company.

    The Boeing 777 vanished Saturday two hours after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. It was bound for Beijing when contact with the Boeing 777's transponder stopped about a 12 minutes before a messaging system quit on the jet.

    Investigators are increasingly certain the missing Malaysian Airlines jet turned back across the country after its last radio contact with air traffic controllers, and that someone with aviation skills was responsible for the change in course, a Malaysian government official said Friday.

    A Malaysian official said Friday night investigators concluded that one or more people with significant flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, switched off communication devices and steered it off-course, the Associated Press reported.

    The official, who wasn't authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was not clear where the plane was taken, and that the hijacking was no longer a theory.

    No motive has been establish, and no theory has been ruled out in one of modern aviation's most puzzling mysteries.

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