The Foreign Office said it was only recently discovered that records of flights passing through an overseas territory used by the US for extraordinary rendition had been lost to "water damage".
A spokeswoman said:
The British Indian Ocean Territory administration is responsible for records of flights on Diego Garcia and they are investigating the full extent of the damage, how many records and what information is affected.
The damage was only recently discovered so it is unknown how exactly or when it occurred.
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Guillier conceded a "severe defeat" defeat to his supporters as the result came in.
The outage struck Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at around 1pm local time, stopping all outgoing flights.
It will be a chilly day for many parts with the highest temperatures, about 10 Celsius (50F) in the far northwest.