Spanish pilot saw white flash when French plane went missing

June 4th, 2009 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, June 4 (DPA) A pilot of the Spanish airline Air Comet covering the route between Lima and Madrid saw a white flash in the area where the Air France plane went missing, the daily El Mundo reported Thursday.
El Mundo quoted a report by the pilot to his airline.

Two pilots and a passenger who was in the galley of the plane “suddenly saw far away a strong and intense flash of white light” which plunged vertically downwards and disappeared in six seconds, the pilot wrote.

The pilot had also observed storms with electric activity and cloud formations near his route.

Air Comet confirmed the existence of the report to El Mundo, saying it had been passed on to the Spanish civil aviation authorities, Airbus and Air France.

The report re-launched the hypothesis of an explosion as the cause of the accident, though it was now deemed likelier that the pilot had lost control of the plane after serious turbulences led to equipment failures, El Mundo said.

There were 228 people on board from 32 countries, including 72 French, 60 Brazilians and 26 Germans.

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