Brazilian military planes spotted debris in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday that could be wreckage of a missing Air France flight carrying 228 people that apparently crashed in a storm the previous day.
Air force pilots saw metallic objects, plane seats, an orange buoy and jet fuel stains in the water about 650 km (400 miles) north of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha off Brazil’s northeastern coast.
Brazil’s navy said a Dutch commercial ship was nearby and would arrive in the area shortly. Brazilian navy ships, one carrying a helicopter, were not expected to arrive in the area until Wednesday.
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The chances of finding survivors appeared close to nil and authorities were treating the passenger list as a death toll.
“The plan now is to focus our efforts to collect the debris and try to identify if they belong or not to the Air France plane,” Brazilian Air Force Colonel Jorge Amaral told reporters in Brasilia, the capital.