Freescale Semiconductor confirmed that it had 20 employees on board missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The company said that 12 of the 20 are from Malaysia while the other eight are from China.
“The entire Freescale Semiconductor community is deeply saddened by this news. The company is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide more information as it becomes available,” it said in a statement.
“At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO, in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event.”
The company is a global one that is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has operations in more than 20 countries. Its technologies were used in the U.S. mission to land a man on the moon as well as the first two-way mobile radio that had a power supply and receiver for cars.
The company creates technology that is used in a range of products, such as eReaders and location tracking in smart mobile devices.
The fact that the company had so many employees on the plane has sparked suspicion from people trying to solve the mystery of MH370, which vanished early Saturday morning and hasn’t been heard from for over a week.
Theories surrounding the connection between Freescale and the plane include some kind of cloaking device that turned the plane invisible.
Kim Hayes, posting on the company’s Facebook page, noted some of theories going around by asking a series of questions: “Why were so many freescale employees traveling together? What were their jobs. Were they on a mission and if so what was this mission? Can these employees be the cause of the disappearance of this plane? Could the plane have been then hijacked and these people kidnapped? Did these employees hold valuable information, did they have any valuable cargo with them? Did they know company and technologicial secrets? With all the might of technology why cant this plane be located? Where is this plane where are these people?”
Tineeka Green added: “Im with Kim, hearing all about this company on Australian news at the moment, they’re talking about how 20 freescale employees who design and produce embedded hardware could have had devices that could have interfered with aircraft technology ultimately bringing down the plane, I am curious what was there mission over there??”
Freescale didn’t give more details about the employees, including their identities, but people from the company said that two of the employees are Test 1 Process Engineers and another is a Test 1 Manufacturing Manager.
Another said on the company’s Facebook page that one of the employees is Suhaili Mustafa, a graduate of Purdue University who works in Malaysia.
An employee from the company said that it is providing support for the families of those on board.
It’s not clear what the employees were headed to Beijing for. The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur.