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France

11 bodies from crash identified, Brazilian officials say

Video by Nadia CHARBIT

Latest update : 2009-06-23

Eleven of the 50 bodies recovered from an Air France plane that plunged into the Atlantic three weeks ago have been identified by fingerprints and dental records, officials say. The bodies were identified as "10 Brazilians and one foreigner."

AFP - Eleven of the 50 bodies recovered from an Air France jet that plunged into the Atlantic three weeks ago have been identified by fingerprints and dental records, Brazilian officials said Sunday.
  
The bodies were identified as "10 Brazilians and one foreigner," officials in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco said in a statement.
  
Five of the Brazilians were male, the other five were female and the foreigner was male, it added.
  
The officials, part of a task force that also includes Brazilian police and forensic specialists conducting autoposies in the city of Recife, did not give further details about those identified.
  
They said the families of the identified Brazilians had been visited personally Friday and Saturday by police officers who broke the news.
  
The embassy of the foreigner who was identified was also notified.
  
A special morgue in Recife has received 49 of the 50 bodies recovered from the crash site 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off Brazil's northeast coast. The 50th body was due to be delivered by ship on Monday.
  
There were 228 people from 32 countries onboard the airliner, which went down June 1 off the coast of Brazil on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. The cause of the disaster -- the worst in Air France's history -- was not known.
  
Seventy-two French citizens, 59 Brazilians, 26 Germans and passengers from 29 other countries were on the flight.
  
Identification was initially being attempted using fingerprints, scars, surgical or dental characteristics, and tattoos on the bodies.
  
If those failed, DNA tests were to be carried out in a Brazilian police laboratory in Brasilia based on samples taken from relatives.
  
After bodies were identified, they were to be released to the families for burial, the statement said.
  
The Brazilian officials said they were still waiting for records and other information to identify bodies of foreigners.
  
"The lack of premortem data explains the small number foreigners identified," they said in the statement.
  
Brazilian authorities leading the search for bodies and debris have fading hopes of finding any more remains. On Saturday, a sophisticated plane with on-board radar that found the first traces of the downed plane was taken off the operation.
  
A separate French operation looking for the plane's black boxes was continuing, with a French military nuclear submarine scouring the crash zone.
  
It was trying to detect homing beacons that are expected to fade within a week.

Date created : 2009-06-22

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