Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, November 8, 1999 Published at 07:57 GMT


World: Americas

Atlantic memorial service for crash families

"My baby, my baby" screamed one grieving woman

About 250 relatives of the victims of EgyptAir Flight 990 have been taking part in a memorial service on the edge of the ocean where their loved ones died.

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders offered readings, chants and prayers in three languages.

The Egyptian airliner plunged into the Atlantic off the state of Massachusetts last Sunday with the loss of 217 lives.

The loss of flight 990
"Your loss is great, your pain deep, but you must find solace in the memory of those wonderful moments you shared with your loved ones," said Egyptian Ambassador Nebil Fahmy.

A message of condolence from President Clinton was read by the American transportation secretary.

After the service in a tent by the ocean, the bereaved were led to the water.


[ image: Sharing their grief]
Sharing their grief
Some wept as they dropped flowers into the sea and lingered to pray and meditate. Others left their flowers in a wicker basket.

The Coast Guard is planning to drop the flowers at the crash site on Tuesday and take photographs to give to the families.

Their grief has been compounded by the absence of their loved ones' bodies.


The BBC's Nick Bryant: "At the water's edge, they bid their loved ones goodbye"
Abdulla el-Mahrouky, who lost his sister, Maha el-Mahrouky, an airline attendant, decided to stay for the service but planned to leave afterwards.

"It's very difficult for me to return without a body," he said. "I want to know what happened. I don't know anything."

Weather hampers salvage

Rough weather has forced US Navy crews to suspend their attempts to recover the flight recorders of the airliner.

A spokesman said the effort was not likely to resume until late Monday or Tuesday.

On Saturday, improved weather conditions had allowed the USS Grapple to resume operations with its Deep Drone undersea robot for about 10 hours.


The BBC's Jane Ball: " The planes two black boxes still haven't been brought to the surface"
The recorders, whose data could be vital to the crash investigation, are lying roughly 75 metres (250 feet) under water amid small pieces of wreckage on a flat sandy bottom.

During earlier operations on Friday, the "pings" from the locator beacons were so loud, technicians tore off their earphones - a sign they were within feet of the crucial recorders.


[ image: Deep Drone is used in preference to divers]
Deep Drone is used in preference to divers
But an attempt to snare the boxes failed because they were apparently buried under wreckage or other matter at the bottom of the sea, said a navy spokesman.

The Boeing 767 crashed less than an hour into its flight from New York to Cairo.

Radar analysis has showed the plane briefly climbed out of a high speed dive, before possibly disintegrating in mid-air.

The data shows the aircraft plunging 16,300ft (about 5,000 metres) from its cruising altitude of 33,000ft at almost supersonic speeds before climbing and then diving again.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

05 Nov 99 | Middle East
EgyptAir victims hailed as 'martyrs'

04 Nov 99 | Americas
New radar theory for Flight 990

03 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
Black box: Key to disaster investigations

01 Nov 99 | Americas
Investigation races against time





Internet Links


EgyptAir

US National Weather Service

National Transportation Safety Board

Boeing

US Navy


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels