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Brazil Ends Search for Air France Bodies


Brazil has called off its search for more bodies and debris from the Air France flight that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean four weeks ago.

Brazil Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Henry Munhoz said Friday that it was not likely any more bodies or wreckage from the crash would be found. Search teams have recovered 51 bodies and hundreds of pieces of debris.

Flight 447, en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro with 228 people aboard, disappeared from radar over the Atlantic Ocean late on May 31.

Authorities say the search for the plane's voice and flight data recorders will continue. The recorders would help investigators piece together the final minutes of the doomed flight that went down during a storm.

Last week, Air France announced it will pay an advance of about $24,000 to the families of each victim of the crash.

Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said the company's lawyers are in touch with the families to put the payments in process. He did not suggest that the compensation means an admission of guilt on the part of the airline.

The CEO also said a memorial service for the 228 victims is being planned.

The investigation has focused on the possibility that icing on the external speed sensors caused incorrect airspeed readings in the cockpit, which could have led the crew to fly dangerously fast or slow.

Air France has since replaced the sensors on its entire fleet of long-haul A330 and A340 planes.

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


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