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Investigators recover second Air France black box

03 may 2011, 15:13
Search teams have retrieved the second black box flight recorder of an Air France plane that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009 en route from Rio to Paris, killing 228 people, AFP reports citing French investigators.

"The investigation team localised and identified the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) at 2150 UTC (GMT) on Monday 2 May, 2011," France's Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) said in a statement.

The recorder was "in good condition," BEA chief Jean-Paul Troadec told AFP, adding: "The chassis, the module and even the underwater locator beacon is there."

"It was raised and lifted on board the ship Ile de Sein" by a submersible robot early on Tuesday, the statement said.

The find by the robot submarine could be a breakthrough in the investigation into the disaster, as the boxes may hold crucial data that could enable BEA investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

The first black box was recovered on Sunday.

The Airbus A330 plunged into the Atlantic while flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009.

Investigators announced they had found the main wreckage in early April on the fourth and final attempt.

The official cause of the disaster remains uncertain, but the crash has been partly blamed on malfunctioning speed sensors used by Airbus.

Air France has been accused of not having responded quickly enough to reports that they might be faulty.

Investigators and Airbus remained cautious, stressing that without the black boxes the riddle of the plane's last moments might never be solved.

Air France and Airbus -- which are being probed for alleged manslaughter in connection with the crash, the deadliest in the carrier's history -- are paying the estimated $12.7 million (nine million euro) cost of the search.

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