By STAN LEHMAN,Associated Press Writer AP -
Monday, June 22 SAO PAULO - Medical examiners have identified the first 11 of 50 bodies recovered from the Air France flight that plunged into the Atlantic three weeks ago, officials said Sunday.
Five bodies were identified as Brazilian men, five as Brazilian women and one as a "foreigner of the male sex," the Public Safety Department of the northeastern state of Pernambuco said in a statement. The department did not reveal the nationality of the non-Brazilian victim.
Dental records, fingerprints and DNA samples were used to identify the bodies, the statement said. Investigators are reviewing all remains, debris and baggage at a base set up in Recife, capital of Pernambuco.
The families of the Brazilian victims and the embassy in Brazil representing the foreigner's home country have been notified, but the identities will not be publicized in keeping with the families' wishes, the statement said.
Air France Flight 447 fell into the ocean off the northeast coast of Brazil on the night of May 31, killing all 228 people aboard.
Thus far, 50 bodies have been retrieved from the ocean.
Searchers from Brazil, France, the United States and other countries are methodically scanning the surface and depths of the Atlantic for signs of the Airbus A330, which crashed after running into thunderstorms en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
Still missing are the plane's flight data and voice recorders, thought to be deep under water. French-chartered ships are trolling a search area with a radius of 50 miles (80 kilometers), pulling U.S. Navy underwater listening devices attached to 19,700 feet (6,000 meters) of cable. The black boxes send out an electronic tapping sound that can be heard up to 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) away.
Brazilian and American officials said that as of Sunday evening no signals from the black boxes had been picked up.
Without the black boxes to help explain what went wrong, the investigation has focused on a flurry of automated messages sent by the plane minutes before it lost contact. One of the messages suggests external speed sensors had iced over, destabilizing the plane's control systems.
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