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Air France plane goes missing over Atlantic

Last updated on: June 01, 2009 18:24 IST

An Air France plane -- with 228 people aboard -- from Brazil to France has gone missing over the Atlantic, BBC has reported.

Air France said the plane sent an automatic message after reporting a short circuit after turbulence. Another report says the plane might have been struck by lightning.

Brazil's air force, reports say, confirmed the plane was missing and said a search and rescue mission was under way near the island of Fernando de Noronha.

The island of Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago about 220 miles off Brazil coast. It consists of 21 islands, with the main one giving its name to the whole group and making up more than 90% of the total area.

Officials said they had "no hope" for Air France Flight 447 which dropped off the radar three hours and less than 200 miles into a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

As the Brazilian air force mounted a search and rescue operation, families of passengers gathered at a crisis centre in Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport awaiting news.