Sarkozy presses Senegal after Air France crash

8th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

President Nicolas Sarkozy dispatched a minister to Senegal for talks on improving flight communications.

Paris – President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday dispatched a minister to Senegal for talks on improving flight communications after a probe into last month's crash of an Air France jetliner pointed to problems.

"There is a black hole. This is not normal," Sarkozy told a news conference at the Elysee palace.

Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet was headed to Dakar to "see with our Senegalese friends, how we can avoid this black hole, this void in communications," he said.

French investigators last week said Air France Flight 447 from Rio to Paris failed to make contact with flight controllers in Dakar after leaving Brazil's airspace and that they were slow to realise that the plane was missing.

The Airbus A330 with 228 people on board went down in a remote area of the Atlantic on 1 June while flying in heavy turbulence, far from Brazil's radar coverage.

"French, Brazilian and Senegalese experts are going to see what can be done so that we no longer go through this black hole," said Sarkozy at a joint news conference with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The president praised Brazilian authorities and the army for their "fantastic work" following the accident and said cooperation between the two countries had been "absolutely extraordinary."

Lula rejected claims by French investigators that they were denied access to autopsy reports, saying "there is nothing to hide."

France has said it will press on with a deep-sea search for the airliner's black boxes until Friday in a bid to find answers to the Air France's worst crash in history.

AFP / Expatica

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