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Saturday, September 12, 1998 Published at 00:21 GMT 01:21 UK

World: Americas

Swissair voice recorder found

The search for clues has been painstaking

Investigators searching the seas off Nova Scotia in eastern Canada have found the cockpit voice recorder belonging to the Swissair plane that crashed in the area last week.

It is hoped the recorder will provide clues into the cause of the crash, which killed all 229 people on board.

The jet's in-flight data recorder was found in the same area last weekend but officials say that electrical failure moments before the crash prevented it from recording any data for the final six minutes of the flight.

[ image: Relatives want to know what happened]
Relatives want to know what happened
The crew had reported smoke filling their flight deck before contact with the plane was lost.

In contrast to the conversations between the crew on the plane and air traffic control towers in Halifax and Monkton, investigators say that any conversations recorded in the cockpit by the black box will not be made public.

Laboratory checks

The box was located in waters about 60m deep by divers from the Canadian forces diving team.

The recorder is on its way to Ottawa to be examined by federal safety board officials.

Initially the laboratory will be checking the condition of the box, ensuring that the data is readable and whether the voice recorder suffered from similar problems to the in-flight data recorder.

There is still no word as yet how long that process will take.

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