About 100 bodies identified in addition to 50 found after the disaster
Around two-thirds of the bodies (153 out of 228) of the passengers and crew killed in the June 2009 crash of an Air France flight from Rio to Paris have now been identified, French investigators say. Since wreckage was located in April, just over 100 bodies have been identified in addition to 50 that were found soon after the disaster. More bodies are being lifted from the ocean floor, at a depth of 3,900 metres.
The pilots of flight AF447, which stalled and fell into the ocean off the coast of Brazil on 1 June 2009, have so far not been blamed for the disaster, but investigators have preliminarily said that mistakes were made on the flight deck. Immediately before the crash, six failure reports and 19 warnings were transmitted from the plane. These related to navigation, auto-flight, flight controls and cabin air conditioning. It is likely that intense turbulence from rapidly developing storms, which pilots normally divert to avoid, contributed to the accident. There is evidence that the aircraft’s speed readings also stopped working. Nevertheless, it remains a mystery as to why the pilots lost complete control. The aircraft fell 38,000 feet in three-and-a-half minutes. A criminal investigation for manslaughter is underway against Air France and Airbus. People of 33 nationalities were on board, including three Swedes, three Norwegians, one Dane and one Estonian.
Reuters / TTG
[pictured: F-GZCP, the aircraft involved in the accident; photo by Pawel Kierzkowski]