LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- U.S. diplomats asked for help Friday in the search for an American pilot in a small turboprop aircraft that went missing Sunday in a storm off the coast of West Africa.

A statement published Thursday night said: "If you catch sight of any debris from a plane that has crashed to earth or in the ocean" please contact an embassy official.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Kevin Krapf told The Associated Press on Friday that the pilot was an American but that he could not provide any other details because of privacy laws.

The statement said the missing plane was a twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 with the registration ZS-PHL on its tail. Only the pilot was on board. The statement said it had disappeared in the area of the Gulf of Guinea on Sunday.

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