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French Investigators in Charge of Investigating Accident Already at Work in Brazil

By Dialogo
June 03, 2009

Río de Janeiro, 03 June (EFE). - Official sources reported today that the two officials from the French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) in charge of investigating the accident of the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean with 228 people on board have already started their investigation in Brazil. Today, the Brazilian Air Force clarified that the French BEA assumed the investigation of the accident, which occurred around midnight on Sunday, despite the fact that the plane fell into Brazilian territorial waters, pursuant to stipulations set forth by international agreements. According to the Air Force, the International Civil Aviation Convention (also known as the Chicago Convention) establishes that, in this type of case, the investigation is the responsibility of the country in which the plane is registered. The report issued by the Air Force states that “two investigators from the French Bureau are already in Brazil” and are collaborating with Brazilian authorities. French Investigations will be supported by Brazil’s Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (CENIPA) and also by regional offices located in Río de Janeiro and Recife from the Regional Service for Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (SERIPA). The Brazilian government, after confirming yesterday that the debris found close to 1,200 kilometers from the coast is from the plane that had disappeared, declared mourning in honor of the victims, among whom there were 59 citizens from that country. The Air France Airbus that would have made flight AF447 between Río de Janeiro and Paris with 228 people aboard of 32 different nationalities disappeared from radar screens after transmitting an automatic message to report a technical failure. On Tuesday, Air Force Planes that participated in the search identified scattered debris from the plane floating in Brazilian waters near the archipelago of Sao Pedro and Sao Pablo, uninhabited rocky formations located some 704 kilometers from the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, the easternmost point of Brazil, and 1,296 kilometers from the city of Recife (Northeast). According to the Brazilian Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim, among other signs, a cluster of aircraft debris was spotted along a strip which extended for five kilometers.