GUELPH, Ont. — A Canadian on the Airbus A330 that vanished en route to Paris from Brazil was a Coca-Cola executive living in Belgium.
Brad Clemes, 49, was born and raised in the southwestern Ontario city of Guelph.
Clemes lived in Brussels with his wife, Anne.
He had two sons, aged 20 and 21.
“He was a wonderful, wonderful man,” his brother Blair told the Guelph Mercury. “He was a great guy, a great father and a wonderful brother.”
“We used to see him several times a year. We’re a very close family,” Clemes told the newspaper. “The last time I saw him was a couple of months ago.”
Brad Clemes’s former high school vice-principal Dave Clark remembered him as an outgoing, high-achieving student who was an excellent athlete.
“He was very personable. A fabulous kid,” Clark told the newspaper. “This is incredibly sad. What an incredible tragedy.”
Air France officials have confirmed a Canadian was on board the missing plane.
A Foreign Affairs spokeswoman in Ottawa says consular officials have been in contact with the missing Canadian’s family to offer assistance and support.
Some 228 people were on the jet, which vanished four hours after taking off Sunday night from Rio de Janiero.
Clemes was part of Coca-Cola’s marketing team and had lived in various parts of the world, according to information gleaned from Internet postings.
He worked in Toronto in the early 1990s before becoming a marketing manager in South Africa later in the decade. He was later a marketing director for Eurasia and the Middle East.
Officials say the plane encountered turbulence and thunderstorms, and may have been struck by lightning.
The Brazilian Air Force is engaged in what officials warn could be a lengthy search off the country’s northeastern coast.