NTSB investigators heading to Asia

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending investigators to Asia to assist in the case of a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

In a press release late Saturday, the NTSB said international protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation once the Boeing 777 is found.

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Technical advisers from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration are accompanying the NTSB team on the trip to Asia, the NTSB said.

The jet, which was on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, may have turned back, military officials said, according to Reuters.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told the Associated Press that the pilots of the airplane did not send any distress signals before it fell off of air traffic control radars about an hour into its flight.

Three Americans were aboard the jetliner, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew, the White House said Saturday.

Freescale Semiconductor said Saturday that 20 of it’s employees were confirmed passengers on the flight. Twelve of those employees are from Malaysia and eight are from China, the Austin, Texas-based company said.

“At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Freescale in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.”