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Family of Philip Wood, Texas man on missing flight, comforted by faith


KELLER, Texas (AP) - The brothers of a North Texas man who was aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing over the South China Sea said Sunday their family is leaning on faith and holding out hope for good news about the man they last saw about a week ago.

Philip Wood, an IBM executive who had been working in Beijing over the past two years, had recently returned home from Asia before his next assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Wood came back to Texas to visit his family before relocating to the Malaysian capital, his brother, James Wood said.

The Saturday flight was supposed to be his final one to China's capital. James Wood told the Associated Press during an interview at the family's home in the Dallas suburb of Keller, Texas, that Philip Wood was supposed to make the final arrangements there for his relocation to Malaysia.

"This was going to be his last trip to Beijing. It just happened to be this one," James Wood said.

"There is a shock, a very surreal moment in your life," Wood added.

"Last Sunday, we were all having breakfast together. And now, you can't," he said during a phone interview earlier in the day, as the family got ready to attend church. Their faith, he said, is what's helping the family through this trying time.

"My brother, our family, we are Christians. Christ above else is what's keeping us together," he said.

Philip Wood, 50, was one of three Americans who were aboard the Boeing 777 when it lost contact with air traffic control as it was cruising on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. It isn't known with whom the other two Americans, Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, 2, were traveling.

James Wood described his brother, a technical storage executive at IBM Malaysia, as an "outgoing, gregarious, friendly, loving man" who was excited about moving to Malaysia.

"He loved to travel while he was over there. His job gave him the opportunity to do that," James Wood said.

James Wood said that his brother is divorced and that one of his sons attends Texas A&M University and that another is an alumnus of that university.

He also pointed out that, along with his brother, members of hundreds of other families were aboard Flight MH370.

"I just wanted to say to all the other families that are around the world: We're hurting. We know you're hurting just as much, and we're praying for you," he said.

The family has been contacted by the U.S. Department of State and the embassy in Malaysia, Wood added.

A second brother, Tom Wood, said the events have left "a real hole in our family," but he said they aren't giving up hope.

"You never know," he said. "I'm not gonna close that door until we need to close it completely."

So far, no explanation as to what happened to the plane is available. There was no distress signal before the plane vanished from the radar.

The family is watching CNN, BBC and other news stations, waiting for small pieces of information as they trickle down, he said.

But, "with a situation like this, when a plane just disappears ... it leaves you with a lot of questions," he said.


AP writer Juan Carlos Llorca contributed from El Paso.

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yehud March 10 2014 at 1:31 PM

Sad very sad we all live on hope and prepare for
the worst God help everyone keep hope alive

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1 reply
cllaire yehud March 10 2014 at 2:04 PM

God is in control He may be sitting at Gods feet In Heaven one thing I do know is God knows where he is and God will send the comforter to you thru this time. H

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nick March 11 2014 at 8:40 AM

my prayers go out to all family members and friends and I know God has it all under control. and we can only pray believe and wait. peace

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gunsinnavarone March 10 2014 at 5:49 PM

I did some research and found that the area where the plane likely went down is at the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand, which is an 'arm' of the South China Sea. From the maps I've studied it appears that the avg. depth of the ocean in this area is only 100 - 200 feet max. So at least finding the plane won't be as difficult as the the one that crashed mid-Atlantic in thousands of feet of water. I would think you'd take the last known position where the plane fell off radar and draw a circle 100 miles wide and begin 'mowing the lawn' with an apparatus that can pick up the 'ping' of the black boxes. It'll take some time but it's not impossible.

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txtrouble49 March 10 2014 at 12:48 PM

My prayers to your family from Indianapolis.May God hold you in His love and care at this time.

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1 reply
cslinz62 txtrouble49 March 10 2014 at 1:19 PM

If there was a God, he wouldn't have allowed this to happen. Sending someone condolences is one thing but prayers? Prayers for what? That's a contradiction.

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jimmduddy March 10 2014 at 12:47 PM

Someone once said, "everything happens for a reason" I am beginning to think that the aircraft
was taken over by a foreign person, why else would they be struggling to identify some evidence.
Thank heavens, the woods family is a family with faith. Jimm Duddy

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Gloriousgal2002 March 10 2014 at 7:10 PM

If people are using stolen passports, there has to be a new system by using fingerprints as a means of verifying if the passport belongs to that person who is showing up with it. Just because a person says that who she/he is evidently that is not the truth...

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1 reply
kingofswords72 Gloriousgal2002 March 10 2014 at 9:50 PM

Yea, maybe we should go to all retinal scanners like in the movie "Minority Report". I'm no criminal but I really like NOT being tracked everywhere I go. If you really want the bloodshed to stop just kick everybody out of government and let the people govern themselves locally. That will eliminate all the hatred from national governments sticking their noses in where they don't belong. Especially the Imperialist U.S. government who wants to control everyone else's actions yet can't even control their own.

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jbaxx725 March 11 2014 at 9:13 AM

Man this has to be one of the toughest things a family could go through, my thoughts & prayers go out to all involved.

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Deb March 10 2014 at 12:44 PM

I agree not to give up hope until the families are given a definate answer. It seems strange that no debris has been found, but last night I researched the Air France event and the investigators didn't find that plane for 5 days. The first idication of the Air France outcome was an oil slick in the Atlantic. I heard they are taking samples of what they think is fuel and testing it. For now, it seems the plane just lost all communication suddently and disappeared. Thoughts for the families..

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mari March 10 2014 at 12:44 PM

This is so sad. To be lost without a trace must be torture for all the families. I hope in one way or another, they all get closure...

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1 reply
erin mari March 10 2014 at 1:21 PM

Absolutely no such thing as closure when dealing with the death of a loved one, mari. But, your sentiment and intent is appreciated.

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John 15:13 March 10 2014 at 12:43 PM

My heart goes out to you and your family ( and all families involved.) God knows what happened and may God comfort everyone and give them answers they need.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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