An Ethiopian Airlines plane with around 90 passengers and crew has reportedly crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after taking off from Beirut international airport.
The Boeing 737 is believed to have been heading for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa when it disappeared off the radar five minutes into its flight.
About 50 of the passengers were Lebanese, three with dual nationalities, British, Canadian and Russian. The rest are thought to have been mostly Ethiopians.
According to one source, residents on the coast saw a ball of fire crashing into the sea a few kilometres south of the Lebanese capital.
Weather reports describe thunderstorms at the time and heavy rain.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines is a major operator in Africa and has recently expanded its activities in Asia.