DEVELOPING — An Air France official says the airline has lost contact with a plane carrying 228 people from Brazil to Paris.
Air France spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand says, "Air France regrets to announce that it is without news from Air France flight 447 flying from Rio to Paris."
She said Monday the flight was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members.
Brazil's air force said a search began Monday morning near the Brazilian archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
The plane disappeared about 186 miles (300 kilometers) northeast of the coastal Brazilian city of Natal and near Fernando de Noronha, the spokesman said.
He spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with Air Force policy.
Barrand says "Air France shares the emotion and worry of the families concerned."
She says the airline has installed 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.
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