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Brazilian air crash: 100 bodies recovered

Rescue teams have found around 100 bodies where a large passenger jet fell to the ground.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 11:36 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Rescue teams have found around 100 bodies in the thick Amazon jungle in northern Brazil where a large passenger jet fell to the ground last week, killing 155 people in the worst plane crash in the country's history.

The airline Gol said in a statement that rescue teams on Tuesday found the bodies of the pilot and the co-pilot. The National Agency of Civil Aviation (ANAC), which is leading the investigation, said they were found inside the plane's cabin.

Budget airline Gol's large Boeing 737-800 collided with a smaller, twin-engine private Embraer Legacy 600 jet Friday. The Brazilian-built Embraer managed to land in a nearby military airfield, and its seven occupants were unhurt.

Brazilian Air Force commander brigadier Luiz Carlos da Silva Bueno indicated that the 100 bodies were found close to each other, in a remote area of dense Amazon rainforest in the state of Mato Grosso.

On Monday, the two black boxes of the Boeing, considered vital to the crash investigation, were found. Bueno said the boxes are in Brasilia and are to be sent to the United States in order to be studied by Boeing technical teams.

Rescue teams are cutting through thick jungle vegetation. The human remains are being taken to Brasilia for identification.

A full probe into the mishap is expected to take at least three months, given the difficulty of reaching the remote jungle crash site.

In the US, The New York Times published an account of the miraculous survival of the Embraer Legacy by one of its business writers.

Joe Sharkey described the tense moments as the plane recovered, and how some of the seven men on board started writing letters to loved ones. After the plane landed safely, the passengers "bowed our heads in a long moment of silence, with the sound of muffled tears" when they learned that a Brazilian airliner with 155 people aboard was missing after Friday's mishap.

Sharkey, a weekly columnist for the Times business-travel section, wrote that the US pilots of the Embraer were stunned by the fate of the other aircraft. It was "clear the weight of all this would remain with them forever," he wrote.

First Published: Oct 04, 2006 11:36 IST