A Brazilian helicopter crew recovered the first wreckage from Air France Flight 447 on Friday, pulling a cargo pallet from the sea. No sign of human remains have been spotted, and Air France has told families that the jetliner broke apart, killing all 228 people on board.
Two buoys standard emergency equipment on planes also were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean about 550 kilometres northeast of Brazil’s northern Fernando de Noronha islands by the helicopter crew, which was working off a Brazilian navy ship.
Air France’s CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon told family members at a private meeting that the Airbus A330 disintegrated, either in the air or when it slammed into the ocean and there were no survivours, according to Guillaume Denoix de Saint-Marc, a grief counselor who was asked by Paris prosecutors to help counsel relatives.
Soldiers at Fernando de Noronha’s airport, where any recovered human remains would be taken, unloaded body bags and a refrigerator truck today from a military plane.
Flight 447 disappeared en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on Sunday night, the deadliest crash in Air France history and the world’s worst commercial air accident since 2001.
With the crucial “black box” voice and data recorders still missing, investigators were relying heavily on the plane’s automated messages to help reconstruct what happened as the jet flew through towering thunderstorms.