Mostly Brazilians, Europeans on board missing flight

2nd June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Airbus A330 jet took off on Sunday from Rio de Janeiro bound for Paris and is believed to have gone down somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean after hitting a powerful electrical storm.

Paris -- Just over half of the 228 people on board the Air France flight missing over the Atlantic are Brazilian, while at least 40 are French and 25 are German, a French government minister said Monday.

Separately, officials from other countries said it was believed that there were eight Chinese, three Danes, three to five Italians, three Norwegians, three Moroccans, two Lebanese, two Poles, two Slovaks and a Portuguese among the passengers.

"There are mainly Brazilians, between 40 and 60 French and 25 Germans on the files we have so far collected," Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, whose portfolio includes transport, told AFP.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had earlier expressed concern that there may be British passengers on board.

French tyre manufacturer Michelin said three of its executives -- including its South America president Luiz Roberto Anastacio, who is Brazilian -- were on the flight.

French bank BNP Paribas denied stock-market rumours that one of its senior executives was on board.

Air France said that among 216 passengers, there are 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby. The crew was made up of 12 members, including nine cabin crew, it added.

The Airbus A330 jet took off on Sunday from Rio de Janeiro bound for Paris. It is believed to have gone down somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean after hitting a powerful electrical storm at around 0200 GMT Monday.

China's Xinhua News Agency, citing the Chinese embassy in Rio de Janeiro, said there were eight Chinese passengers, including a would-be investment immigrant to Brazil and six employees of a steel plant in northeast China.

The three Italians on the flight were from the northern province of Trento, said Alberto Tafner, president of an association that represents people from Trento around the world.

They included "the director of the association, a councillor of the Trento province and a mayor," he told Italy's Sky TG24 television.

In Copenhagen, the Danish foreign ministry said three Danes were on board, while its Slovak counterpart said it had been informed about two Slovak passengers by the French foreign ministry.

AFP/Expatica

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