Navy to pay tribute to Air France crash victims

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The Brazilian Navy said it will pay tribute to the victims of the Air France jet that plunged into the Atlantic nearly four weeks ago.

Recife – The Brazilian Navy said it will pay tribute Monday to the victims of the Air France jet that plunged into the Atlantic nearly four weeks ago, killing all 228 people on board.

Families of victims were invited to participate in the ecumenical ceremony in the northeastern city of Recife aboard the Bosisio frigate, which participated in the search operations, the navy said in a statement Saturday.

On Friday, Brazil's military said it had ended its search for more bodies and debris from the Airbus A330 that came down on the night of 31 May to 1 June, saying that only a "negligible" amount of remains could still be recovered.

"It has been nine days since we have located bodies," explained air force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Henry Munhoz.

The 26-day search operation, conducted with the help of French ships and planes sent from Spain and the United States, recovered 51 bodies and over 600 pieces from the doomed aircraft.

Some 1,600 Brazilian troops were mobilized for the effort, including 1,344 from the navy and 268 from the air force.

The air force used 12 planes that flew for 1,500 hours and swept across 350,000 square kilometers (135,136 square miles). The navy deployed 11 ships and navigated some 66,700 kilometers (36,000 nautical miles), or eight times the length of the Brazilian coast.

A French-led search will, however, continue for the aircraft's black boxes that are set to continue emitting homing signals until 2 July. France has already contributed a nuclear submarine and ships to the effort.

The crash was the worst in Air France's 75-year history.

AFP / Expatica

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