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South Park engineer aboard missing Malaysian Airlines flight, employer says

| Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:03 p.m.

A South Park engineer is among the 239 people missing on the Malaysian Airlines flight that vanished over the ocean, her employer said Sunday.

Mei Ling Chng, a senior process engineer at Flexsys America LP in Monongahela, is confirmed to have been on Flight MH370, company spokeswoman Tracy Kilgore said. Kilgore represents Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Co., the parent organization of Flexsys.

“All of us at Eastman are deeply shocked (and) saddened by this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of those on the flight and especially to the family of our friend and co-worker,” Kilgore said.

The Beijing-bound flight originated in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and disappeared from radar Saturday. The State Department reported three Americans were aboard the flight, whose fate remains under investigation by Asian and American authorities.

Valerie Shafer, who sold Chng her home in South Park in October, said she appeared to have been a very bright and successful young woman in her late 20s or early 30s who had risen in her field and traveled often for her job. Shafer said Chng didn't appear to have been married.

“I can tell you as the mother of a daughter that I was proud of her for accomplishing so much,” Shafer said. “Who knows what she could have accomplished in the long term.”

Neighbors said they didn't see Chng much. Neighbor Joe McClune said he hadn't seen any other family there; a light was on but no one answered the door at her house Sunday evening.

“She just moved in a couple months ago, and then the weather got bad, so nobody's had the chance to meet her or talk to her,” said neighbor Nina Puccio, 50. “It's a shame; you hope to God she wasn't on that flight, but now it's looking more and more like she was.”

A man at the Kuala Lumpur airport who said he was Chng's uncle told The New York Times said his niece was one her way to the United States via Beijing.

Chng's LinkedIn page says she attended a university in Malaysia.

Kilgore said Chng went to work for the chemical company Solutia in Malaysia in 2005. She transferred to Monongahela in 2010.

“She is a process engineer whose main responsibilities include chemical process optimization and new process development,” Kilgore said. “She is remembered fondly by her co-workers as being ... pleasant and happy, as well as well respected.”

Akron-based Flexsys makes chemicals for rubber processing and develops additives for other chemical uses, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Flexsys and Solutia are subsidiaries of Eastman.

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