RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil's official news agency is reporting that a commercial airplane pilot saw what appeared to be fire on the ocean near the route taken by a missing Air France plane.
The jet, with 228 people aboard, was on a flight to Paris when it vanished over the Atlantic Ocean after flying into thunderstorms and sending an automated message that the electrical system had failed. A vast search is under way, but all aboard are feared killed.
A Brazilian Air Force spokesman is quoted as saying that the commercial pilot saw several orange points on the ocean while flying over the region and now believes they might have been fire.
The 4-year-old Airbus A330 left Rio Sunday night with 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board. Most of the passengers were Brazilian and French, but 32 nations in all were represented, including two Americans.
39 News reports that the two Americans are 54-year-old Anne Harris and 60-year-old Michael Harris. The couple used to live in The Woodlands. Michael Harris' employer, Devon Energy, tells us Harris moved to Rio de Janiero last July to work for their international division. Anne Harris' sister says the couple was flying to Paris to attend a training seminar and spend time in Europe on vacation.
Anne Harris is originally from Lafayette, LA. Michael Harris is originally from Greenville, SC.