JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A South African Airways jumbo jet with 159 people on board failed to land on schedule at Mauritius early today and its whereabouts was unknown, the South African Press Assn. reported.
The news agency quoted Nico Venter, the South African Airways director of public relations, as saying the Boeing 747 carried 140 passengers and 19 crew members.
Venter said this morning that the plane was five hours overdue for a scheduled 2:13 a.m. refueling stop and officials feared it had crashed into the Indian Ocean.
The aircraft was flying from Taipei, Taiwan, and was to have landed at Mauritius for refueling before continuing its flight to Johannesburg, Venter said.
Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean 600 miles east of Madagascar.