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Bodies from Atlantic Plane Crash Brought to France


Containers loaded with wreckage of the Air France Airbus A330, which dove into the sea off the coast of Brazil in 2009, arrive at the General Directorate for Armament in Toulouse Center, June 16, 2011.

Containers loaded with wreckage of the Air France Airbus A330, which dove into the sea off the coast of Brazil in 2009, arrive at the General Directorate for Armament in Toulouse Center, June 16, 2011.

The remains of 104 people recovered from the wreckage of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic two years ago have been brought to France for identification.

The bodies and wreckage from the Airbus 330 plane arrived by ship on Thursday at the port of Bayonne in southwestern France.

Police officials say the human remains are being sent to Paris for dental and DNA tests to establish the victims' identities, and will then be returned to the families for burial.

Some of the relatives have said they would have preferred for their loved ones to have remained on the ocean floor.

A total of 228 people were aboard the Airbus jet when it plunged into the ocean on June 1, 2009, killing everyone on board. According to information from the flight data recorders recovered last month with the bodies, the pilots saw conflicting speeds on their instruments as the plane stalled and fell into the sea.

Analysis of the flight data information shows the plane dropped at a speed of more than 3,000 meters a minute before crashing into the water.

France's aviation safety agency is expected to issue a full report on the crash in July.

A preliminary inquiry conducted prior to recovering the data recorders pointed to a possible icing problem with the probes measuring air speed. But there has been no definitive conclusion as to the cause of the crash.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported that Airbus had registered 32 instances of problems involving ice buildup on similar aircraft between 2003 and 2009. It also reported that preliminary findings pointed to pilot error in the deadly crash.

In March, a French judge placed Airbus under investigation for possible involuntary manslaughter charges in the 2009 crash.

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

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