01 June 2009

Air France jet missing with 228 people over Atlantic after running into thunderstorms

Air France Jet Missing Over Atlantic Ocean
Undated file photo made available by Airbus, showing an Airbus A330-200 jetliner from the French company Air France. An Air France jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris lost contact with air traffic controllers over the Atlantic Ocean, an Air France official said Monday, June 1, 2009. (Airbus/AP Photo)


By ALAN CLENDENNING and GREG KELLER
Associated Press Writer
SAO PAULO June 1, 2009 (AP)

A missing Air France jet carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris ran into a towering wall of thunderstorms over the Atlantic Ocean, officials said Monday, fearing that all aboard were lost.

The area where the plane could have gone down was vast, in the middle of very deep Atlantic Ocean waters between Brazil and the coast of Africa. Brazil's military searched for it off its northeast coast, while the French military scoured the ocean near the Cape Verde Islands off the West African coast.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told families of those aboard that "prospects of finding survivors were very small." If all 228 were killed, it would be the deadliest commercial airline disaster since 2001.

Sarkozy, speaking at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, said the reason for the disappearance remained unclear and that "no hypothesis" was excluded.

"(I met with) a mother who lost her son, a fiancee who lost her future husband. I told them the truth," he said.

Source
: abc News

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