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France

Relatives of victims to visit Atlantic crash zone

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-06-03

Relatives of the AF 447 victims will be allowed to fly over the crash zone in the Atlantic, Jean-Louis Borloo, France's transport minister, said on Tuesday. He called the search for the wreckage "a race against the clock".

Families and close friends of the passengers of the Air France plane that disappeared over the Atlantic will be allowed to go to the zone where the plane is thought to have gone down, said Jean-Louis Borloo, France’s transport minister.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that a trip to the zone would be organised for those who wish to go, Borloo announced. Borloo added that Sarkozy wished to meet again with the passengers' relatives.

"Race against the clock" to find the plane

Borloo also said that finding the Airbus 330’s “black box” was an “absolute priority” for French authorities. “It’s a race against the clock,” he said.

Referring to the cause of the loss of the jet, Borloo said that he had excluded “no hypothesis”, including the possibility of terrorism. He emphasized, however, that investigations so far had found “no element concerning the passengers, the take-off or the conditions revealed by automatic messages sent by the plane to the maintenance centre” that indicated terrorism.

“We have found no indication of terrorism,” he said.

Referring to the plane’s cockpit recording equipment, Borloo said, “Our job is to find the black boxes.” He added that the Airbus will automatically transmit a locator signal for 30 days.

Date created : 2009-06-02