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AF crash: 'Black boxes may never be found'

The French air safety investigation agency said that it was not optimistic that the black box flight data recorders of an Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic would be found.

world Updated: Jun 04, 2009 00:46 IST

The French air safety investigation agency said that it was not optimistic that the black box flight data recorders of an Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic would be found.

At its first news conference since flight AF 447 between Rio and Paris disappeared on Monday, the Office of Inquiries and Analysis said it expected to have an initial report into the crash ready by the end of June.

Agency director Paul Louis Arslanian said he was “not totally optimistic” that the boxes would be recovered in the deep Atlantic and that even if they were they might not explain the cause of the crash of the Airbus A330 jet.

The Paris prosecutor’s office meanwhile said it would “rapidly” open a formal judicial inquiry into the crash.

More debris found

More debris from an Air France jet that came down in the Atlantic was spotted early Wednesday.

A Brazilian air force plane fitted with a special sensor found 10 items, some metallic — including an object seven metres in diametre — and a fuel slick 20 kilometres long, spokesman Colonel Jorge Amaral told reporters.

The extra debris was found 90 kilometres south of the spot where planes found objects including a airline seat, a life-vest and cables the day before.

Amaral said 11 aircraft were now scouring the area, some 600 kilometres northeast of Brazil’s Atlantic archipelago of
Fernando de Noronha, itself located 400 kilometres from the mainland.

A plane from France and another from the United States were also involved in the sweeps. Five Brazilian navy vessels were on their way to join three cargo ships already in the zone.

No bodies were found, Amaral said.