Authorities say a small plane carrying seven people including a sick French woman is believed to have crashed into the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Senegal.

Magueye Maram, an official with the Senegalese Aviation Authority, said that the plane lost contact late Saturday after departing from the capital of Burkina Faso.

The plane was bound for Senegal's seaside capital, Dakar.

Senegalese authorities said Sunday they were scouring an area off the coast for signs of the wreckage. A Senegalese doctor, two nurses and a three-person flight crew were also on board.