9 Jun 2009

Tail fin of Air France plane found

4:03 pm on 9 June 2009

Brazilian divers have found what appears to be the tail fin of an Air France plane which disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean last Monday.

The Brazilian military has issued photos of divers securing the tail fin, which was painted with Air France colours. It is the biggest and most significant piece of debris recovered so far, and could help the search teams locate flight data recorders.

Brazilian officials say 24 bodies have now been recovered, an increase from the previous total of 16.

The plane disappeared en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris with 228 people on board on 1 June.

The bodies and debris were found 1,000 kilometres northeast of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands, where the Airbus disappeared.

The BBC reports that the bodies will be taken by ship to Fernando de Noronha, before being moved to the Brazilian city of Recife, where a temporary mortuary has been established.

Meanwhile, the United States is sending two listening devices to help search for data recorders from the plane.