Woman aboard missing jet has home in South Park



One of the 239 people aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight bound for Beijing on Saturday morning was Chng Mei Ling, an engineer with Flexsys America LP in Carroll Township, near Monongahela, Washington County.

Ms. Chng had worked at Flexsys since 2005, most recently at the site near Monongahela, according to spokeswoman Tracy Kilgore of Eastman Chemical Co., which purchased Flexsys in 2012.

"As you can imagine, this has been a very shocking and sad situation and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all aboard the missing flight and in particular to those of our co-worker," Ms. Kilgore said in a written response to questions.

Ms. Kilgore offered no personal details about Ms. Chng but confirmed that the company had issued a brief statement to its employees over the weekend that said: "It is sad to hear the news of the disappearance and apparent crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, and the possible fate of 239 passengers and crew. Of particular concern is that an Eastman team member appears to have been aboard."

In an email, Ms. Kilgore said, "We are still trying to pull together details, and also, out of respect to her family, we are not in a position to release personal information about her."

She said Ms. Chng was a "process engineer" and her main responsibilities included "chemical process optimization and new process development."

According to online county records, Ms. Chng purchased a home on Leona Avenue in South Park in October. Neighbors said they hadn't gotten to know her yet and that she wasn't around often.

At the Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday, the grief-stricken uncle of Ms. Chng screamed uncontrollably as airline employees escorted him out of the terminal.

"Be truthful about this!" said Koon Chim Wa, whose booming voice echoed through the cavernous terminal.

"They say they don't know where the plane is," Mr. Koon said, his hands and body shaking. "Is this a joke?"

Ms. Chng was on her way to the United States, he said.

The flight, which originated in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, should have landed at dawn in Beijing but remained unaccounted for all weekend.

Flexsys employs more than 590 people at 14 facilities worldwide, including the one on Route 481 near Monongahela. The company makes and supplies chemicals for the rubber industry.

Flexsys, which was founded in 1995, is a division of Solutia Inc., which supplies window films, nylon and chemicals for the automotive, architectural and transportation markets. Solutia was acquired by Eastman Chemical for $4.7 billion in January 2012.


Don Hopey: dhopey@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1983. Lexi Belculfine and The New York Times contributed. First Published March 9, 2014 7:17 PM


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