Victims of doomed Air France flight found

Bodies from an Air France flight
that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean nearly two years ago have been found along
with the wreckage of the plane.

They will be brought to the surface
and identified, French Ecology and Transportation Minister Nathalie
Kosciusko-Morizet announced.

But the flight data recorders still
have not been recovered, leaving investigators as puzzled as ever about why the
plane dropped out of the sky in stormy weather on 1 June, 2009, killing all 228
people aboard.

“It’s still a jigsaw puzzle,”
said Alain Bouillard, who will be in charge of the recovery operation. “We
do not know where the recorders might be.”

It is impossible to tell how many
bodies remain in the wreck, he added.

 Only 50 bodies were recovered in previous
searches, leaving 178 victims still missing.

He would not comment on the
condition of the bodies, calling it “inappropriate” to discuss.

The debris is dispersed over
“quite a compact area,” he said.

All the wreckage will be brought to
the surface and sent to France for study, said Jean-Paul Troadec, the head of
the French air accident investigation agency, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et
d’Analyses (BEA).

“We want to know what happened
in this accident, most particularly so it never happens again,” he said.

Investigators announced they had
found pieces of the Airbus A330-200 that disappeared while flying to Paris from
Rio de Janeiro.

After three unsuccessful searches,
investigators found the wreckage by using “a different calculation based
on currents of the sea and what might have happened,” Troadec said.

The area where the plane went down
is far out in the Atlantic — two to four days for ships to reach from the
nearest ports in Brazil or Senegal in West Africa.