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24 Bodies Recovered in Air France Disaster


Brazilian and French search crews say they have now recovered the remains of 24 people killed last week when Air France Flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean while headed to Paris from Rio de Janeiro. Eight bodies were recovered Monday, adding to the 16 that had been pulled out of the water in recent days.

Hours earlier, the search teams recovered a large tail section from the commercial jetliner, which was carrying 228 people at the time of the disaster.

French investigators have said it is too early to draw conclusions as to what caused the flight to crash in stormy weather.

Officials, however, are looking into whether the plane's airspeed instruments may have been faulty. If a plane's speed sensors are not working properly, pilots may fly the aircraft too fast or too slowly, with disastrous results.

Investigators have said the aircraft maker, Airbus, had recommended replacing part of the airspeed sensing system on its A330 aircraft, like the one that crashed last week. Air France had not yet done the work on the doomed airliner.

Meanwhile, reports say Air France pilots are being urged not to fly the A330 and A340 models unless two of three speed sensors, known as Pitot tubes, are replaced. The sensors have drawn attention because of past incidents involving them.

Separately, a U.S. Navy team is headed to Brazil to assist in searching for the plane's flight data recorders. The U.S. team will deliver two high-tech listening devices that can detect emergency beacons to a depth of 6,100 meters.

The recorders, known as "black boxes," have voice recordings and data from the final minutes of Flight 447. They are believed to be sitting on the ocean floor at depths of at least 3,000 meters. The recorders emit signals for 30 days after an accident.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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