Bristol schoolboy among victims of Air France plane crash

Clifton College confirms boy was one of seven children on passenger list

A boy from Bristol who was returning from half-term holiday is among the 228 people feared dead after an Air France plane disappeared over the Atlantic.

Other Britons confirmed as being on the flight include two oil industry workers returning home and a motor industry PR executive, as well as three Irish doctors.

Clifton College prep school confirmed that one of its pupils, Alexander Bjoroy, 11, was one of seven children and five Britons on the passenger list of flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

The school's headteacher, John Milne, issued a statement saying: "Alexander joined the school in January 2009, and was a well liked and respected boarder who will be sorely missed by his fellow pupils and staff. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the family in Brazil at this time."

The school said no other members of his family were on board.

Pupils heard the news at an assembly this morning. They and their parents have been offered counselling.

Another person confirmed as being on the flight was Neil Warrior, head of PR for Mazda Europe, a colleague told the Guardian.

"We learned this morning from his sister, who was told by police," Franz Tanner said. "We are destroyed by the news. I first worked with Neil 20 years ago. He is the sort of person you would describe as a true English gentleman."

Warrior, 49, had a flat in London but had been based for the past three years in Cologne, Germany, he added.

A Brazilian dentist based in Reading, Dr Jose Souza, was also on the flight's passenger list, French officials said today.

A statement from the Reading Orthodontic Centre said: "The staff at the Orthodontic Centre are devastated by the news. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of our highly respected colleague. He will be greatly missed."

Graham Gardner, 55, an oil worker from Gourock, Renfrewshire, was also among the passengers, his employers said today.

He was master of the Lochnagar, a pipe-laying and construction vessel operated by the Aberdeen-based company Subsea 7.

His wife Joyce, 51, said: "I have known Graham for as long as I can remember. He is such a loving, caring and laid-back man. Nothing fazed him."

The director of an engineering consultancy for the oil industry, Arthur Coakley, is also understood to have taken the flight.

His wife, Patricia Coakley, said her husband had been returning from a four-week stint in Brazil working on an oil rig.

She recalled her last conversation with her husband, in which he said: "Hello darling. I'm at the airport. I've checked my luggage in. I'm going through."

The family had been planning to begin a holiday in Corfu on Friday. "I was elated," Coakley said. "He was coming home and I was getting organised for our holiday, and that was our last conversation."

She said the couple's two sons and daughter were distraught, although the family was not giving up hope of her "fabulous, kind" husband being found.

Coakley's business partner, Ken Pearce, said the previous flight he had hoped to board was full.

Coakley is a founding director of the Aberdeen-based Project Design and Management Services Ltd. In a statement, the company said it was "deeply saddened". It said he had been working on the installation of drilling equipment on an oil rig.

A young Belfast doctor and part-time dancer with the Riverdance troupe is also missing. Dr Eithne Walls had been working at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin, and had been in Brazil with two other Irish doctors, Aisling Butler and Jane Deasy. All three were on the flight. The women were on a two-week holiday in Brazil and had been friends since they were students at Trinity College Dublin.

Ireland's foreign minister, Michael Martin, said government officials had been in contact with all three victims' families.

Dr Walls, who was in her 20s, still danced in her spare time and was a member of Riverdance's so called "flying squad" of dancers who once performed on Broadway.

Aisling Butler's father, John, said he could not describe his family's grief. "We know Aisling is gone, we are sure of that," he said.

"It is just about trying to live now, I have to live for my wife and my only other daughter, Lorna."

He said his daughter, who celebrated her 26th birthday just over two weeks ago, lived for her job as a young doctor but also enjoyed life to the full.


Matthew Weaver, Henry McDonald and Peter Walker

The GuardianTramp

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