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France says distress beacons, not black box located

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-01

Backtracking on an earlier claim, French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet said search teams have located distress beacons, not the black box, of the Yemenia Airways jet which crashed off the Comoros islands on Tuesday.

Emergency numbers:

Paris airport number for families of passengers: +33.1.48.64.59.59
Yemenia Airways emergency number: +967.1.250.833

 

AFP - A French minister backtracked Wednesday on a claim that patrols had located a black box of the Yemenia airliner that crashed off the Comoros, saying they picked up signals from distress beacons.


"The Transall (military plane) that picked up an acoustic signal did not, despite what was said this morning, detect the beacons of the flight recorders, but rather what appear to be its distress beacons," said Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet.

"There may have been some confusion," he told reporters in Moroni, after meeting the 13-year-old girl who was rescued Tuesday from the Indian Ocean, so far the only survivor among the flight's 153 passengers and crew.

"The frequency on which the plane received the distress signal rules out the possibility that it could be the beacon attached to the black box," he added.

The Airbus 310 from Yemen's state airline crashed in the Indian Ocean Tuesday as it came in to land at Moroni airport.

A spokeswoman for Joyandet told AFP by phone earlier that "the black box's signal" was picked up by an aerial patrol on Tuesday not far from the archipelago's coast.

Two French navy ships and the Transall plane were dispatched to the crash zone to help in the rescue effort. Sixty-six French nationals, and many Comoran residents in France, were among the 142 passengers and 11 crew of Flight 626.

The flight left Paris on Monday for Marseille and Sanaa on board a modern Airbus A330 but the passengers switched to the older Airbus jet in the Yemeni capital to continue to Djibouti and Moroni.

The A310 had aborted a landing and was making a second attempt when it crashed, officials said. The 19-year-old jet had been banned from France's airspace because of doubts about its safety.

It is the second time in less than a month that an Airbus has crashed into the ocean.

 

 

Date created : 2009-07-01

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