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'No doubt' wreckage is from missing flight, say Brazilian officials

Video by Oliver FARRY , Owen FAIRCLOUGH

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-03

Brazil's air force has reported spotting debris, including an airplane seat, 650 kilometres off the Brazilian coast on Tuesday. Brazil's defence minister says there are "no doubts" the wreckage is from the missing Air France 447 flight.

AFP - Brazil's government confirmed late Tuesday that debris spotted by aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean came from a missing Air France flight that had been carrying 228 people when it vanished without a trace.

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told a media conference in Rio de Janeiro "there are no doubts" that jet fuel slicks and debris, including a seat from a plane, were from flight AF 447, which had been flying from Rio to Paris early Monday when it went missing.

The debris was scattered over a five-kilometer (three-mile) area, he said, "confirming that the plane fell at this spot."

Jobim said three merchant vessels were in the debris zone and the first of several Brazilian navy vessels would arrive early Wednesday.

"They will start the work to recover these items that were spotted" early Tuesday by Brazilian air force planes, he said.

If any bodies were found, they would be transported by ship to the nearest airport, on Brazil's archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 460 kilometers (290 miles) away. From there, they would be flown out on air force planes, he said.

Jobim made the announcement after visiting relatives of those on board the flight who were being looked after in a Rio hotel by teams including psychological and medical personnel.

Date created : 2009-06-02

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