Announcement of a missing plane.
Official: It’s missing. We are very worried. The plane disappeared from the screens several hours ago. It could be a transponder problem, but this kind of fault is very rare and the plane didn't land when expected.
Stages in handling news of a disaster: (1) introduce anxiety first, to pave the way towards the probably inevitable awful denouement, (2) cushion the impending tragedy by noting the rarity of the event (3) highlight steps being taken to cope with the problem (4) extend support to relatives waiting for news (5) finally to soften a very hard landing by acknowledging acceptance.
With expressions like these:
“AF 447 drops from radar…”
“We are very worried.”
“…this kind of fault is very rare…”
“Air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus A330 at 0600 GMT as it crossed the ocean.”
“Airport authorities have set up a crisis cell at Charles de Gaulle.”
“Brazil air force searching for missing aircraft…”
"Air France shares the emotion and worry of the families concerned."
"We have lost hope for the missing jet.”
“There is a real pessimism at this hour about the fate of the aircraft.”
"We can fear the worst."