Part of Air France black box found: investigators

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Search teams have retrieved part of a black box flight recorder from the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 but not the part containing the key data, investigators said Wednesday.

France's Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) said the chassis that held one of the recorders was found a day after a salvage ship began working to retrieve bodies and recently discovered wreckage using Remora submarines.

"During the first dive by the Remora 6000 which lasted more than 12 hours, the chassis of the flight data recorder was found, without the module protecting and containing the data," the BEA said in a statement.

"A second dive by the Remora 6000 began this morning."

The Airbus A330 plunged into the Atlantic en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009 with the loss of 228 lives. Investigators announced they had found the main wreckage in early April on the fourth and final attempt.

The official cause remains uncertain, but the crash has been partly blamed on malfunctioning speed sensors used by Airbus, with Air France accused of not responding quickly enough to reports that they might be faulty.

But investigators and Airbus remain cautious, stressing that without the black boxes the riddle of the plane's last moments may never be solved.

© 2011 AFP

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