Investigators hunted in vain for the crucial Data Recorder -- the 'black box' -- of the crashed Air India plane for the second full day on Monday and were studying tapes of air traffic control contact with the aircraft in its final moments.
Bodies of 22 persons were meanwhile yet to be identified prolonging the agony for grieving families waiting to claim their loved ones and the results of DNA tests were awaited.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his "deep condolences" to the families of those who died and held a one-minute silence before a news conference in New Delhi.
Operations for the search of the orange-coloured Digital Flight Data Recorder or the 'black box'--which had been the focus of investigators-- were suspended in the evening and will be resumed tomorrow. It is mounted in the tail of an aircraft.
A preliminary replay and analysis of the audio taped conversation between the Air Traffic Control at the Bajpe Airport and the pilots of the Boeing 737-800, moments before the crash, was carried out today, official sources said.
Investigators had yesterday recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DFDAU) from the wreckage of the ill-fated flight from Dubai that crashed at Bajpe airport here on Saturday killing all but eight of the 166 persons on board. DFDAU is similar to the 'black box' Digital Flight Data Recorder(DFDR) but stores information only for a shorter period of time.
The two on-board devices would be brought to New Delhi soon for a detailed analysis to help determine the causes of the country's worst air accident in a decade.
The CVR and DFDAU, which record the cockpit audio and most of the aircraft's technical details, would be brought to the DGCA headquarters in New Delhi for analysis, the sources said.
The airline meanwhile denied lax safety claims saying Air India Express meets all regulatory requirements and has been always well equipped to handle the operations and maintenance of its fleet to established standards.
Pilots and engineers were fully trained and qualified, while regulators had audited and cleared every aspect of its work, the airline said in a statement while describing Air India Express as a "world-class international low-cost carrier".