An AirFrance jetliner went missing last night about an hour and a half after takeoff from Rio De Janeiro International Airport. AF 447 was bound for Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport and was carrying 228 passengers and crew when, at about 8:30 p.m. local time, the plane reported mechanical problems and disappeared from radar screens. While there are little details to report, Air France is preparing for the worst. CNN reports:
“I can say without doubt that this is a catastrophe,” Gourgeon said, adding “the entire Air France company and its staff are very moved and affected by this.”
A crisis center was being set up at Charles de Gaulle to deal with anxious relatives and friends waiting for news of passengers. Air France has also set up a hotline: 0800 800 812 in France, or +33 157021055 for international callers..
Airbus has opened a crisis room and their flight safety team is in place, a company spokesperson told CNN. Airbus is working closely with authorities and Air France, he said, declining to comment further.
Brazil has just launched search teams to recover the aircraft, an Airbus A330-200, around where it was last seen, 365 kilometers off the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
We’ll tell you more as the story develops.
Via / CNN