Wreckage from Air France jet found in Atlantic
- 3 April 2011
- From the section Europe
Wreckage from an Air France jet lost over the Atlantic nearly two years ago with 228 people on board has been found, French investigators say.
With the cause of the crash still unknown, a fourth attempt to locate the plane's voice and data recorders got under way last month.
Searchers located wreckage during the past 24 hours, investigators in Paris said, without giving details.
Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris came down in a storm on 1 June 2009.
A French judge recently filed preliminary manslaughter charges against Air France over the crash.
Airbus, the maker of the jet, says no one can know for sure how the crash occurred unless the so-called "black boxes" are found.
The search has been financed jointly by Air France and Airbus. It involves dives to depths of up to 4,000m (13,120ft) with the use of special robots to examine the ocean floor between Brazil and West Africa.
France's Bureau of Investigations and Analysis (BEA) said that parts of the plane had been located by the searchers, led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
"These parts have been identified by BEA investigators as belonging to the wreck of the A330-203, Flight AF 447," it added.
The bureau promised to release further information later.
An initial search found 50 bodies and hundreds of pieces of the plane, including its torn-off tail, while the last search ended in failure in May 2010.
The latest search was planned as a "systematic exploration" of an area of some 10,000 sq km (3,900 sq miles).
Officials have previously said there can be no guarantee that the flight recorders will ever be found.
Those who died included more than 30 nationalities. Most were French, Brazilian or German.
The crash has been partially blamed on malfunctioning speed sensors but officials believe other factors must also have contributed.