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Two Listed on Missing Jet Had Passports Stolen, Were Not on Plane

<p>One of the passengers was listed on the manifest as being from Italy and another from Austria.</p>
Image: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet featuring the registration number 9M-MRO taxis on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, June 9, 2009.Norman Yousof FILE

Two people listed as passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet were not on the plane and had their passports stolen, according to foreign governments and one relative.

Luigi Maraldi, 37, was the only Italian on a passenger manifest released by the airline after the jet disappeared over the South China Sea.

But his father, Walter Maraldi, told NBC News from Cesena, Italy: “Luigi called us early this morning to reassure us he was fine, but we didn’t know about the accident. Thank God he heard about it before us.”

The Associated Press quoted the Italian foreign ministry as confirming that account.

An Austrian was also on the passenger manifest, but Reuters and The Associated Press both quoted the Austrian foreign ministry as saying that he was safe in Austria. The ministry said that his passport was also stolen.

Both foreign ministries said that the passports were reported stolen in Thailand, the AP reported.

— Claudio Lavanga