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Air France Jet Vanished Over The Atlantic: 228 Missing

Air France Jet Vanished Over The Atlantic: 228 Missing

Air France jet liner traveling from Rio, Brazil to Paris, France with 228 passengers aboard vanished over the Atlantic Ocean earlier today.

An Air France spokesperson reported earlier today that a jet liner traveling from Brazil to Paris with 228 passengers on board vanished over the Atlantic Ocean, according to AP.

Brigitte Barrand, Air France official, released a statement Monday morning saying "Air France regrets to announce that it is without news from Air France flight 447 flying from Rio to Paris."

Barrand confirmed Air France had lost contact with the plane carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members. Air France Flight 447 (an Airbus A330) apparently went MIA about 186 miles northeast of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal and near Fernando de Noronha. An official with the French government's transport agency said contact with the plane was lost at 0220 GMT Monday (10:20 p.m. EDT Sunday).

According to a representative Brazil's air force - who spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with Air Force policy. -  a search and rescue mission have been launched in the area immediately after the jet failed to make its regular radio contact.

In her statement, Barrand further addressed the families of the missing passengers saying: "Air France shares the emotion and worry of the families concerned."

She also announced that the airline has set up an information center at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for the families of those aboard.

The flight was scheduled to arrive in Paris at 0915 GMT (5:15 a.m. EDT), according to the airport.

Airbus declined to comment until more details emerge.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his "extreme worry" and sent the junior minister for transport, Dominique Bussereau, and Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo to Charles de Gaulle airport to monitor the situation.
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Mona Elyafi