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Investigators ponder disappearance of Air France jet

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - French officials say it had to have been
an extraordinary series of events that brought down Air France
Flight 447 in the Atlantic on a flight from Brazil to France.
Officials say they don't think a simple bolt of lightning could
have done it. Searchers haven't turned up any confirmed signs of
the plane or the 228 people aboard.
The plane left Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night en route to Paris.
A few hours into the flight, it sent an automated message that its
electrical system had failed. That was the last communication.
Brazil's largest airline (TAM) says pilots on one of its flights
spotted orange points on the ocean, which they thought could have
been fire. Brazilian air force jets have been conducting nighttime
searches and a Brazilian ship is expected to arrive in the area
tomorrow.
A Pentagon official says there's been no indication that
terrorism was involved, but French President Nicolas Sarkozy says
"no hypothesis" is being excluded. Towering thunderstorms and
bands of extremely turbulent weather stretched across the area
where Flight 447 vanished, leading to questions whether lightning,
hail, heavy winds or some combination might have been to blame.


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