Investigators have recovered the flight data recorder from the Yemenia Airlines Airbus A310 that crashed in June off the Comoros killing 152 people. A specially-equipped French vessel has led the search in the Indian Ocean for the plane's two black boxes over the past week, in a zone where the average depth is estimated at 1,200 metres. Chief investigator Ali Abdou Mohamed said on August 23 that six bodies and pieces of the wreckage were recovered.
"The bodies of six victims have been found and brought up on to the vessel," he said. The causes of the crash, which was carrying mainly passengers of Comoran origin living in France, remain unknown. Some sources blamed the state of the plane, which did not satisfy European safety regulations, but the investigation has yet to establish this. The passengers, who were travelling from France to the Comoros, had changed planes in the Yemeni capital Sana'a and boarded the Airbus A310. The plane plunged into the Indian Ocean as it was trying to land in Moroni.
The sole survivor was Bahia Bakari, a 13-year-old girl, who lost her mother in the crash and clung to a floating piece of debris for eight hours before being rescued. The investigation team is made up of officials from the Comoros, Yemen and France and is headed by the Comoros authorities. *AFP