Brasilia: Eighteen Brazilians are among the 153 victims identified in the 2009 crash of an Air France jet while en route from Rio to Paris, the Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry, quoted by the official Brazil Agency yesterday, said a total of 58 Brazilians were aboard the Airbus A330 when it plunged into the Atlantic off the Brazilian coast, killing 228 passengers and crew from 32 different nationalities.
It added that the families of those identified would be notified and that the remaining 40 Brazilians have not been found.
Of the 154 bodies found, 153 were identified, while 74 others remain at the bottom of the ocean.
Air France and Airbus are being investigated for alleged manslaughter in connection with the crash, notably because of malfunctioning speed sensors known as Pitots.
The airline replaced the Pitots, manufactured by French company Thales, on its Airbus planes with a newer model after the crash.
Victims` families have previously alleged that the involvement of big French corporations such as Airbus and Air France was influencing the affair.
Last August, the French air accident investigation authority BEA released an interim report into the crash in which it said that the pilots were not trained to handle the jet when it stalled in rough weather.
Air France immediately defended its pilots, saying the stall alarm had malfunctioned.