Bodies of 104 Air France crash victims arrive in France
The bodies of 104 victims of the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago arrived in France Thursday by boat after being retrieved from the wreckage.
The boat carrying the bodies and pieces of wreckage docked in the south-western port of Bayonne at around 7 am (0500 GMT). From there the bodies were to be taken to a laboratory in Paris in order to be identified, DPA reported.
All 228 passengers and crew died after Air France flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the sea around two hours after take-off on June 1, 2009.
Around 50 bodies were found in the days after the crash. Scores more were found amid the wreckage which was located in April by underwater robots, around 1,000 kilometres off the north-east coast of Brazil.
The operation to retrieve the bodies from a depth of 3,900 metres took around a month.
Not all were found. Some 70 bodies remain at the bottom of the ocean.
The families of the French victims themselves had been divided on whether to retrieve them.
Some wanted to have the bodies back in order to give their loved ones a proper burial. Others said they preferred to leave them rest at the bottom of the ocean.
A report by the French transport ministry's Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis (BEA) in May showed that the plane stalled following a problem with the speed sensors and fell out of the sky.
The investigators have yet to apportion responsibility for the crash.