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Black Box yet to be traced, 22 bodies yet to be identified

Investigators hunted in vain for the crucial Data Recorder--the `black box`--of the crashed Air India plane for the second full day today and were studying tapes of air traffic control contact with the aircraft in its final moments.



Mangalore: Investigators hunted in vain for
the crucial Data Recorder--the `black box`--of the crashed Air
India plane for the second full day today and were studying
tapes of air traffic control contact with the aircraft in its
final moments.

Bodies of 22 persons were meanwhile yet to be identified
prolonging the agony for grieving families waiting to claim
their loved ones and the results of DNA tests were awaited.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his "deep condolences"
to the families of those who died and held a one-minute
silence before a news conference in New Delhi.

Operations for the search of the orange-coloured Digital
Flight Data Recorder or the `black box`--which had been the
focus of investigators-- were suspended in the evening and
will be resumed tomorrow. It is mounted in the tail of an
aircraft.

A preliminary replay and analysis of the audio taped
conversation between the Air Traffic Control at the Bajpe
Airport and the pilots of the Boeing 737-800, moments before
the crash, was carried out today, official sources said.

Investigators had yesterday recovered the Cockpit Voice
Recorder (CVR) and Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit
(DFDAU) from the wreckage of the ill-fated flight from
Dubai that crashed at Bajpe airport here on Saturday killing
all but eight of the 166 persons on board. DFDAU is similar to
the `black box` Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) but stores
information only for a shorter period of time.

The two on-board devices would be brought to New Delhi
soon for a detailed analysis to help determine the causes of
the country`s worst air accident in a decade.

The CVR and DFDAU, which record the cockpit audio and
most of the aircraft`s technical details, would be brought to
the DGCA headquarters in New Delhi for analysis, the sources
said.

The airline meanwhile denied lax safety claims saying
Air India Express meets all regulatory requirements and has
been always well equipped to handle the operations and
maintenance of its fleet to established standards.

Pilots and engineers were fully trained and qualified,
while regulators had audited and cleared every aspect of its
work, the airline said in a statement while describing Air
India Express as a "world-class international low-cost
carrier".

The CVR and the DFDAU, which were retrieved from the
debris in a burnt condition, would be analysed by officers of
the DGCA`s Air Safety Division. While the CVR captures radio
transmissions and sounds in the cockpit such as the pilots`
voices and engine noise, the DFDAU records all parameters of a
short-duration flight.

However, since the two crucial equipments are damaged,
efforts would be made to take the electronic chips of the CVR
and insert them in a serviceable unit in order to retrieve the
information contained in it, the sources said.

Analysis of CVR and DFDAU is expected to take at least
a fortnight, while the analysis of all records and documents
collected would take a couple of weeks, they said.

Four teams of investigators from engineering,
operations, ATC and aerodrome units, made several rounds of
inspection of the wreckage, the runway and the adjoining areas
of the accident site.

These teams have also collected a large number of
material for evidence through extensive search of the
aerodrome, runway and navigational facilities, the sources
said.

An official statement had yesterday said that though
the CVR was "affected by fire it is expected to yield the
desired information".

The teams have already taken over all records pertaining
to the aircraft and the air crew for investigations, the
sources added.

Meanwhile, police have kept 22 bodies in cold storage at
different hospitals in Mangalore.

Gopal B Hosur, IG (Western Range), said that DNA
samples of these 22 bodies, as well as the claimants, have
been taken.

The DNA `matching` reports are expected in three to five
days.

PTI

From Zee News

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