A small plane with six people aboard plunged into the sea Monday near the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, and at least two people survived, the French air force said.

The air force said rescue officials had spotted the Cessna in the waters near Porto, Corsica and that at least two of those aboard were alive. With rescue operations ongoing, their condition, and the fate of the others, was not immediately clear, the air force said.

The Cessna's pilot had radioed air traffic controllers to say the plane's motor had malfunctioned and that he planned to try an emergency landing at sea, firefighters and police said. Shortly afterward the plane disappeared from radar screens.

Rescue services, including helicopters, a plane and a Navy boat, were mobilized to find the plane. The craft took off Monday from Propriano on Corsica and had planned to head to Cannes on the French mainland.