French experts to analyse Venezuelan 'black boxes'

18th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 18 (AFP) - French technicians are to help Venezuelan authorities analyse the "black boxes" from a Colombian jetliner that crashed this week, killing all 152 French passengers on board, French Transport Minister Dominique Perben said Thursday.

PARIS, Aug 18 (AFP) - French technicians are to help Venezuelan authorities analyse the "black boxes" from a Colombian jetliner that crashed this week, killing all 152 French passengers on board, French Transport Minister Dominique Perben said Thursday.

The orange-coloured cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both of which have been recovered from the crash site, "will be analysed in Venezuela, but in the presence and with the collaboration of our technicians and engineers from the BEA (Accident Investigation Bureau) and the French Civil Aviation Authority," he told RTL radio in Paris.

Earlier, a Venezuelan government statement had said the two recorders "will be sent to a specialised laboratory in France for analysis."

The devices were found in the debris of the US-made McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 which crashed in northwestern Venezuela on Tuesday as it was flying the French home to their Caribbean island of Martinique after a week-long vacation in Panama.

All on board the plane -- the eight-person Colombian crew and the 152 passengers -- died in the accident, making it the worst loss ever of French lives in an aviation disaster.

The French government has sent several officials to Venezuela to help identify the shredded, burned remains of the plane's occupants and to investigate the cause of the crash, which came after the pilot announced the failure of both engines.

Officials from Colombia and the United States are also participating in the inquiry.

"We should be able to work out technically what was the origin of the crash and then we will be able to go further and tell the families what happened," Perben said.

Perben also supported plans for an EU-wide Internet black list of airlines with poor safety records that was evoked Wednesday by European Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot.

The French justice ministry announced that the state prosecutor on Martinique was to open a homicide investigation into the crash.

An official close to the case said two investigating judges would be appointed to handle the inquiry, which will also have the effect of facilitating access to information in Venezuela and Colombia for the families of the passengers.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, airline, crash, Venezuela, Martinique, Dominique Perben, Jacques Barrot

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