Monday, 8 June 2009 12:00 AM
As many as 17 bodies have now been recovered from missing Air France flight AF 447, following its disappearance over the Atlantic Ocean early last week.
The flight, thought to have been brought down during a storm, was on route from Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle when it vanished from civilian and military radar with all 228 onboard now feared dead.
A number of pieces of the Airbus 330 have also been recovered by French and Brazilian navy vessels. An extensive sea and air search has been scouring an area 1,000 kilometres north-east of Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha islands.
Items baring the Air France logo and oxygen masks are among the items recovered.
Some 15 bodies were recovered on Saturday while a further two were pulled from the water on Sunday. A temporary mortuary has been established in the coastal city of Recife.
While mystery still surrounds the exact cause of the accident, officials are assessing whether faulty speed sensors on the plane may have played a role – causing the aircraft to fly too slowly.
While Air France is stepping up a programme to replace the sensors on its aircraft, the airline stated it was too early to draw definitive conclusions as to what caused the crash.
More bodies have been sighted by the 14 aeroplanes and five naval ships involved in the search, which are expected to be recovered later today.