Investigators Probing Concorde Crash Find Black Box
Investigators probing the crash of an Air France Concorde that killed all 109 people on board have found the black box flight recorders that could hold the key to what caused the plane to plunge in a ball of fire, reported Reuters.
A further four people died on the ground when the aircraft slammed into a hotel in the town of Gonesse, about six km (four miles) southwest of Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, on Tuesday.
As Air France prepared a reception center for grieving relatives of the victims, most of them German tourists starting out on the holiday of a lifetime, the French transport ministry said the find could prove to be of crucial importance to an official inquiry, reported the BBC.online.
"The boxes were found near the plane," a ministry spokeswoman said.
"They will be analyzed. It remains to be seen what condition they are in."
Air France confirmed on Tuesday that one of the supersonic airliner's four engines caught fire.
Witnesses reported seeing a trail of flames streaming from behind the sleek, drop-nosed symbol of prestige travel as it left the airport, added Reuters.
Vital clues to what happened in the final seconds of doomed flight AF 4590 could be stored in the flight data recorder and the voice recorder, which registers communications between the flight deck and the ground, said the BBC.
Witnesses said the pilot appeared to have tried to turn the aircraft back for an emergency landing before, in the words of one onlooker, it "flipped over like a pancake," Reuters said.
AIR FRANCE SUSPENDS WEDNESDAY FLIGHTS
The crash was the first of an Anglo-French Concorde since the airliner, built for those rich enough to pay to cross the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound, entered service nearly three decades ago, added Reuters.
Speaking from the crash site, illuminated by blazing arc lights as investigators toiled through the night, German Transport Minister Reinhard Klimmt told ARD German television he was stunned by what he had seen.
"It's just shocking to see the consequences for human beings when technology breaks down," said Klimmt.
British Airways cancelled two Concorde services on the New York-London route on Tuesday evening and Air France said its two scheduled flights on Wednesday were also off, according to the agency – (Several Sources)
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