KELLER, Texas (AP) — The brother of a North Texas man who was aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing over the South China Sea said Sunday his family is leaning on their faith as they wait for 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, recently returned home from Asia before his next assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Wood came back to Texas to prepare for his move to the Malaysian capital, his brother, James Wood said.
“There is a shock, a very surreal moment in your life,” James Wood said in a phone interview from the family’s home in Keller, a Dallas suburb of about 40,000 people located north of Forth Worth.
“Last Sunday, we were all having breakfast together. And now, you can’t,” he said, 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.
A technical storage executive at IBM Malaysia, Wood was “a good, hard worker,” his brother 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.
“This is not a local thing; this is a world thing,” he said. “We are one family. There are 240 other families. Our hearts go out to them.”
The family has been contacted by the U.S. Department of State and other institutions, Wood added.
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.