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Passengers were alive when Air France flight hit Atlantic: Experts.

Byline: ANI

London, July 5 (ANI): Experts have rejected the earlier investigation report of the Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic, by saying that many of the 228 people on board could have been alive when an intact AF447 hit the water.

Two separate trails of bodies and debris more than 50 miles apart suggested a high-altitude break-up of the Rio-to-Paris flight on June 1, in which passengers would have died instantly.

The first official report on flight AF447's crash ruled that out, suggesting that some passengers may have survived until impact.

Debris indicated the Airbus A330 hit the water intact, on its belly and in the direction of the flight, said Alain Bouillard of the French air accident investigation unit, the Times Online reports.

Some 640 pieces of wreckage have been found and 51 bodies, including the pilot and one of five Britons killed in the crash.

None of the bodies discovered was in a life jacket and it is thought many passengers were not even wearing seatbelts.

If the cabin became depressurised, they may have lost consciousness as the plane began a descent from 35,000 feet.

The exact cause of the crash may never be known unless the recovery of data of the "black box" flight recorders. A submarine search for the recorders' location signals will continue until Friday, after which their batteries are sure to be dead.

Some suspicion rests on the plane's exterior air speed sensors (pitot tubes), which have been known to get blocked and confuse the onboard computer.

But investigators said potentially faulty pitot tubes were "a factor but not the cause" of the crash. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 5, 2009
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