- AF 447 crash - Air France - aviation - Brazil - plane crash
AFP - Post-mortems carried out in Brazil on bodies recovered from the Air France crash in the Atlantic last month have shown that the victims did not drown, French investigators said Friday.
Flight 447 crashed in a storm on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1 with the loss of all 228 people on board.
According to Colonel Xavier Mulot, of the French air transport gendarmes in charge of the judicial investigation into the crash, the 50 victims recovered so far "did not die by drowning."
Forty-three bodies have been formally identified, of which 17 are French nationals including the pilot and three other crew members.
Some 650 pieces of debris from Air France Flight 447 -- from lifejackets to sections of flooring and its entire tailfin -- arrived in southern France Tuesday to be analysed at a defence ministry laboratory.
The French bureau leading the crash investigation, the BEA, said this month, based on an initial study of the debris, that the plane was intact when it hit the ocean, but that the cause of the crash was still unknown.
Analysis of the debris would continue at the aeronautical lab under the supervision of the BEA and French air transport gendarmes.
The first results of the analysis were expected to be available by the end of the month, said gendarme chief General David Galtier, with a second shipment of some 450 pieces of debris is set to arrive in early August.
French submarines are also next week to resume the search for the flight recorders of the Air France plane, that are likely plunged as deep as 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) under water.
Search teams deployed after the June 1 crash of Flight AF 447 stopped monitoring last Saturday for the remote signals of the so-called "black boxes," which are designed to emit for at least 30 days.
From next week, French submarines will attempt to physically track down the devices, in a second search phase lasting around a month.