Two Britons were among 90 people on a plane which crashed into the Mediterranean after taking off from Beirut, a Lebanese minister said.
The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed into the sea just minutes after taking off.
Lebanon's transportation minister Ghazi Aridi said two Britons of Lebanese origin were among the passengers on board, with the rest being mainly Lebanese and Ethiopian.
A Foreign Office spokesman was unable to verify the report, saying British embassy officials in Lebanon were checking.
The cause was not immediately known, but police ruled out terrorism and said the crash was probably weather-related. It had been raining heavily with lightning in Beirut.
The Boeing 737-800 took off from Beirut at around 2.30am local time (12.30am GMT) for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, said Mr Aridi.
"The weather undoubtedly was very bad," he said. He said the plane went down about two miles off the Lebanese coast.
The plane was carrying 90 people, including 83 passengers and seven crew.
Mr Aridi said the passengers were 54 Lebanese, 22 Ethiopians, one Iraqi, one Syrian, one Canadian of Lebanese origin, one Russian of Lebanese origin, a French woman and the two Britons, who were of Lebanese origin.
Helicopters and naval ships were scrambled to find the plane.