t1_relatives2_ap.jpg(CNN) — Searchers in Cameroon on Saturday were working to track down a missing Nairobi-bound Kenya Airways flight reported to have gone down in a forested area southwest of the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde.

African media reports say Kenya Airways Flight KQ 507 — which was carrying 115 crew and passengers — crashed near Yaounde.

One local government officer, Alex Bayeck, said villagers reported hearing a “large boom.”

“Searchers have gone out looking in this area,” including police, emergency workers and military police, he told The Associated Press. The region has few roads and is dotted by small villages.

There was no word yet on survivors, Bayeck said as he traveled to the crash site.

But Titus Naikuni, the company’s chief executive officer, refused to describe the incident as a crash. He told reporters that “at the moment you can’t make a clear statement until you see the aircraft itself.”

The plane took off from the Cameroonian city of Douala bound for Nairobi, Kenya and was scheduled to arrive in the Kenyan capital about 6 a.m., the airline said. There were reports of thunderstorms in the area around the time of takeoff overnight.

An airline official said the last message from the aircraft was an automatic distress signal received soon after takeoff from Douala airport. The plane was just six months old, the airline said.

People from 25 different countries were on aboard. They included one American, five Britons, one Swiss, one Swede, six Chinese, and 15 Indians. The remainder were Africans, including at least 35 from Cameroon and at least nine from Kenya, according to airline figures.

The Associated Press is reporting that Anthony Mitchell, a Nairobi-based AP correspondent, “was believed” to be on the flight.

Relatives waiting at Nairobi’s airport were distraught as news reports about the missing plane came in. Dozens of family members cried and collapsed in the airport terminal.

One person there said families there had received no information. “I cannot talk now because there is no news,” he told AP, declining to give his name. “We have not been given any information.”

Cameroon’s military sent helicopters from Douala airport to the believed crash site, AP reported.

Kenyans are sending a delegation to Cameroon, and Naikuni said the United States was helping authorities track the flight location. Naikuni said the location is about 100 kilometers, or more than 60 miles, southwest of Yaounde.

A Kenya Airways flight crashed seven years ago, on January 30, 2000, when a Nairobi-bound flight took off from Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The airline is considered one of the safest in Africa.

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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