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Air France Flight Missing

June 1, 2009 By: George Dooley


Searches are underway for a missing Air France Airbus 330-200 on Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro, to Charles de Gaulle International, Paris, with 228 passengers but the chances of finding any survivors that disappeared over the Atlantic were "very low," French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reported to have said Monday.

"This is a catastrophe the likes of which Air France has never seen before," he told reporters at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, where he met with relatives of the missing aboard the flight from Rio. "I said the truth to them: the prospects of finding survivors are very low," CNN reports.

The Airbus A330 sent out an automatic signal warning of the electrical problems just after 02:00 GMT Monday (10 p.m. ET Sunday) as it flew "far from the coast," said an Air France spokeswoman, according to CNN. Among the passengers were 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby, in addition to the 12-crew members, Air France officials in Brazil told CNN.

Sarkozy reportedly said French authorities had sent ships and planes to the area about 400 km from Brazil. "Our Spanish friends are helping us, Brazilians are helping us a lot as well." He added that authorities were seeking the help of satellites that might be able to pick up signs of what happened to the four-year-old Airbus 330. "It's extremely hard because this is a huge area," he said. No Americans were reported on the flight. Air France has posted information on line at www.airfrance.com.



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