PHILIP WOOD worked for IBM, is 50 and a father for a family in Texas. He used to work in Texas, got divorced and moved to Malaysia and was going to China for a job at IBM China when he boarded this plane. So sad.
DALLAS – One of three Americans aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is a longtime IBM executive who raised his family in North Texas before moving to East Asia.
The name of Philip Wood, 50, is among 239 people identified on a passenger manifest provided by the airline. Two others with American passports are listed as Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, age 2.
Wood’s ex-wife confirmed the family’s fears in a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon.
“Philip Wood was a wonderful man,” wrote Elaine Wood, who still lives in the Dallas area. “Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now.”
Elaine’s Facebook was quickly flooded with messages of condolences from friends and family.
The Boeing 777 jetliner was en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic controllers around 2:40 a.m. local time Saturday, two hours after takeoff, the airline said. Officials said they received no distress call from pilots. Rescuers spotted two large oil slicks in the ocean off the southern tip of Vietnam, but a search for wreckage continues.
Aubrey Wood, the man’s father, told KTVT-TV in Dallas that the Malaysian Embassy contacted him regarding his son being on the flight. However, the elder Wood told “The New York Times” that the family had little information beyond media reports.
“We’re all sticking together,” his father told the newspaper from his home in Keller, Texas. “What can you do? What can you say?”
IBM officials could not be reached for comment, but a former longtime colleague confirmed to Yahoo News that Wood was working and living in Kuala Lumpur after spending a few years in IBM’s Beijing office.
Craig Dahl, who retired from IBM last year, said he has known Wood for at least 25 years.
“Since I found out, I feel like somebody punched me in the stomach,” Dahl said. “It’s just very sad to think that he could be gone.”
Dahl said Wood, who sold technical storage solutions, went to Beijing when “IBM was offering people the opportunity to take jobs overseas if they kind of wanted to experience the world.”
“That’s the kind of spirit that Philip had, an adventuresome person who wouldn’t mind experiencing another culture and getting immersed in it,” said Dahl, who is 51 and lives near Detroit. “He was a very encouraging person and a lot of fun to be with.”
The Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing flight would have been a very routine trip for an IBM employee like Wood, Dahl said. As a former frequent traveler himself, Dahl said he’s haunted by thoughts of what his friend might have experienced.
“I can imagine being in that plane as it’s going down or whatever is happening to it,” Dahl told Yahoo News. “I can imagine being in his place. That’s what really strikes hard with me, knowing that a friend of mine went through that. I know that the odds are not in his favor but miracles do occur, so maybe there will be something that will be found.”
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This is the article with the names of all the people on board this missing plane: