600 pieces from Brazil plane crash shipped to France

MORE than 600 pieces from Air France Flight 447 are being sent from Brazil to France by ship to be studied further for clues to the cause of the June 1 crash, Airbus said yesterday.

The disaster overshadowed a meeting of Air France-KLM shareholders yesterday, with pilots saying the company didn’t do enough to prevent the plane crashing into the Atlantic Ocean. All 228 people aboard were killed.

French investigators say 640 parts of the plane – including the tail, an engine cover, uninflated life jackets, seats and kitchen items – have been recovered, some of the bigger pieces that had to be handled by cranes. They were initially held in the Brazilian city of Recife.

While Brazil led the search operation after the crash, France is leading the investigation into the accident.

All the wreckage has been loaded on an Airbus cargo ship, the Ville de Bordeaux, and is en route to France, an Airbus official said.

She said the material will arrive in mid-July and be examined at a Defence Ministry aviation centre in the southern city of Toulouse – where Airbus is headquartered – by French accident investigators and judicial police.

Air France-KLM shareholders began their annual meeting by observing a minute of silence in memory of the 228 victims.

His voice cracking with emotion, Air France-KLM chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta told the nearly 1,000 shareholders gathered in the basement of the Louvre museum that the company would do whatever it takes to find the cause of the crash, “even if it is uncomfortable for the airline”.

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