Large part of Rio-Paris jet found 'in one piece': minister

4th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Newly found wreckage from an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris is a large and intact part of the passenger jet, a French minister said on Monday.

"This is a large part of the plane, in one piece," Transport Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told France Inter public radio, the day after investigators announced that parts of the doomed plane had been found.

Kosciusko-Morizet said there was now the "hope to quickly find the black boxes" that might tell investigators exactly what caused the crash, which has been partly blamed on allegedly defective speed monitors.

The plane went down roughly midway between Brazil and Senegal on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board, in the deadliest crash in Air France's history.

France's Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) said on Sunday that a team on board the expedition ship Alucia had located part of the plane.

BEA Director Jean-Paul Troadec also told AFP that investigators have hope of finding the plane's black boxes because the debris area was relatively concentrated.

Troadec said the parts of the wreckage that had been found consisted of "engines and certain elements of the wings".

The BEA is to publish first pictures of the wreckage found in the Atlantic on Monday.

Air France and Airbus -- who are being probed for alleged manslaughter in connection with the crash -- are paying the estimated $12.7 million cost of the search.

© 2011 AFP

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