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Page last updated at 23:52 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 00:52 UK

Bodies from missing plane found

People leave a memorial Mass at St Eloy's church in Roissy, near Paris, 6 June
Distraught relatives have been going through days of anguish

Two bodies have been found from the Air France plane which went missing over the Atlantic last Monday, the Brazilian air force has said.

Items including a case with a ticket for the flight were also picked up some 1,100km (683 miles) off Brazil's coast.

Air France said it was stepping up replacement of speed monitors on Airbus planes, amid speculation that a faulty indication may have caused the crash.

All 228 people on board the Airbus 330 are believed to have been killed.

The AF Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris disappeared in turbulent weather about 800km (500 miles) north-east of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands.

Blue seat

"We confirm the recovery from the water of debris and bodies from the Air France plane," air force spokesman Jorge Amaral told reporters in the northern city of Recife on Saturday.

He later added that two male bodies had been found, as well as objects linked to passengers known to be on the flight, including a suitcase with an Air France ticket and a backpack with a computer inside.

"It was confirmed with Air France that the ticket number corresponds to a passenger on the flight," Col Amaral said.

A blue seat was also found, and Air France is checking the serial number to see whether it came from the flight.

The remains were found not far from where the last signal from the plane was received, and taken to the islands of Fernando de Noronha.

Experts on human remains are on their way to examine the find.

Speed sensors

The items were the first to be definitely linked to the plane, nearly six days after the crash.

SEARCH FOR FLIGHT AF 447
1 June: Contact lost with plane over mid-Atlantic
2 June: First debris spotted from the air includes an airline seat. Brazilian defence minister says debris is from missing plane
3 June: More debris spotted, including a 7m-wide chunk of metal. Fuel slick seen on ocean surface
4 June: Buoys and pallet recovered from ocean said to be from plane. Officials later retract statement
6 June: First two bodies, plus suitcase and backpack found, along with seat thought to be from the plane

But the BBC's Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo says the authorities are adopting a cautious approach after previous reports of debris being found proved false.

Correspondents say that much of the search effort so far has been focused on finding flight data recorders, which have sonar beacons - or "pingers" - attached to them.

But French officials say there was no guarantee the beacons were still attached to the flight recorders, and they may have been separated in the impact of the crash.

The officials do not know what triggered the plane's problems, but it was flying through an area of thunder storms and turbulence.

They said it sent 24 error messages minutes before it crashed.

Air France said in a statement on Saturday that the plane had been using speed sensors that had been associated with problems in the past.

The company said that it had begun noticing problems arising from icing on its Airbus long-haul aircraft more than a year ago and that it had begun changing its airspeed sensors on 27 April - five weeks before the accident.

"Without prejudging a link with the causes of the accident, Air France has accelerated this programme," Air France said in a statement.

It added that this did not necessarily mean the aircraft was not safe to fly.

A French submarine is being sent to join in the search. It has sonar equipment that could help locate the airliner's flight data recorders.

The US is also sending specialised listening equipment.

Flight of AF 447




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