Various news sources now say that three Groupe Michelin executives, as well as one ThyssenKrupp exec, were indeed on the Air France plane that disappeared yesterday somewhere over the Atlantic. The latest reports from the Associated Press say that two batches of floating debris believed to be from the missing plane have been spotted.
According to the latest reports, Brazilian military pilots have located an airplane seat, a life jacket, signs of fuel and other debris in the Atlantic ocean about 410 miles from the Brazilian coastline.
For the past 24 hours, search teams from a number of countries had been unable to locate any sign of the Airbus A330 that disappeared from radar screens just hours after departing Rio de Janeiro en route to Paris. The plane carried 228 passengers and crew.
Among those passengers, said reports, were two senior executives of Michelin’s Brazilian operations who were traveling to France for meetings. Another company official, unaffiliated with the Brazilian executives, was returning to France after what was apparently a personal trip. According to one report, an executive from German steel supplier ThyssenKrupp also was on the flight.
There has been no official confirmation that the supplier company employees were on the flight, therefore no names are being release.
The craft apparently reported an electrical failure and sent 10 automated distress messages before it vanished, reports said. Various reports point to a large thunderstorm the plane likely encountered off the South American coast, though no officials have confirmed either the storm or any definitive cause.