French official denies discovery of Air France plane crash black boxes

Sounds heard by plane crash search teams in Atlantic ocean are not from missing equipment, transport aide says

A French official today ruled out the missing black boxes of the crashed Air France plane as the source of sounds search teams have detected in the Atlantic ocean .

An aide to , Jean-Louis Borloo, France's top transport official, told the Associated Press: "The black boxes have not been detected."

The aide spoke after reports in the French newspaper Le Monde said French ships had detected a "very weak signal" from the black boxes.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the aide told the AP French military ships searching in the area where the plane crashed had "heard sounds" but thatthey were not signals from the flight's voice or data recorders.

The boxes are essential in order to determine what happened to the plane, which that plunged into the ocean on 31 May, killing all 228 people on board.

French officials have described the search for the black boxes as a race against time, and warned they might never be found.

The black boxes' locator beacons, known as pingers, will emit signals for only another eight days. After that, it could become impossible to locate the black box flight recorders and discover what happened to the Airbus A330 aeroplane, which crashed four hours after taking off from Rio en route for Paris..

For over a week, search efforts for debris, bodies and the black boxes of flight 447 have focused on an area some 840 miles off the Brazilian coastal city of Recife.

Eleven of the 50 bodies recovered so far have been identified by fingerprints or dental records.


Angelique Chrisafis in Paris and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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