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Homeland Security

Brazil views terrorism as possible cause of Air France crash

RIA Novosti

09:2624/06/2009 IRKUTSK, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Brazil's special forces are investigating all possible causes of the Air France crash in the Atlantic, including a terrorist attack, the country's intelligence chief said on Wednesday.

"We are thoroughly examining the circumstances of the plane crash. The security services of many countries have been holding consultations with us. We are investigating all possible versions of the crash, including a terrorist attack," Wilson Roberto Trezza told an international meeting of security services in Russia's East Siberian city of Irkutsk.

However, the official said: "currently we have no signs proving the possibility terrorist attack on board the plane."

Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris was carrying 228 passengers and crew when it lost contact with ground controllers on June 1 about four hours into the flight. The crash is the worst in the airline's 75-year history, and the world's worst for almost a decade.

A total of 50 bodies out of 228 have been recovered from the crash site 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) off Brazil's northeast coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Eleven bodies have been identified.

Although there has been no confirmed information on the cause, authorities said autopsies performed on the bodies showed that there had been no explosion or fire on board the aircraft.

Rescuers hope to find the Airbus's black boxes that could hold clues as to the cause of the crash.

Le Monde said earlier the naval ships had located signals from the flight data recorders of the Air France airliner in the Atlantic. However, officials later denied the reports, saying that the signals did not come from the sonar transmitters attached to the flight recorders.

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