Search teams have located the second flight data recorder of the Yemenia jet that crashed off the Comoros islands on June 30, killing 152 people, the chief investigator said today. "The investigation commission confirms that the second flight recorder, the cockpit voice recorder ... has been located and operations to retrieve it have begun," the chief investigator Ali Abdou Mohamed said in a statement.
The first black box was located on Friday after a week of search led by a specially-equipped French vessel in the Indian Ocean in a zone where the average depth is estimated at 1,200 metres. The causes of the crash of the plane, 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 Sanaa 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.