Air France Jet Presumed Lost
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2009 10:20 AM CDT
View of the arrivals board at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport after news broke that an Air France Airbus A330 was missing between Rio de Janeiro and Paris, Monday June 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
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(Newser) – The Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean early today after leaving Rio de Janeiro for Paris is believed to have crashed, Reuters reports. Mechanical malfunctions kept the aircraft's crew from keeping in touch with air-traffic controllers after they reported serious turbulence about 4 hours into the flight. "It is probably a combination of circumstances that could have led to the crash," an airline rep said.

The Brazilian military dispatched planes and ships to search for survivors. Among the 216 passengers on the Airbus A330 were seven children and a baby; the plane carried a crew of 12. The crash would be the first ever by an operational A330. "Modern airliners do not just go missing," an industry expert told Bloomberg. "They were en route and should have been fine."