Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 17:02 UK

Air crash families to get payout

Brazilian diver with debris, 17 June, 2009
Some debris from the crashed airliner has been recovered

Air France says it is set to pay initial compensation to the families of those killed in the Atlantic air crash on 1 June.

Two hundred and twenty-eight people died when a French plane crashed on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Air France chief Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said a first payment of 17,500 euros ($24,000, £14,800) would be made for each victim.

The cause of the crash is unknown and flight recorders have not been found.

The so-called "black boxes" record flight data and conversations in the cockpit.

Memorial details

Passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the Airbus A330 when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

So far 50 bodies have been recovered from the water, and some debris from the aircraft has also been found. Brazilian and French ships are continuing the search.

Mr Gourgeon said Air France was trying to arrange a memorial ceremony for relatives of the victims.

An announcement would be made in the coming days, he added,

"The entire company was deeply affected by this accident, and remains mobilised," the chief executive said.

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