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AI crash: DNA, DGCA officials arrive; search on for black box

A team of experts arrived from Hyderabad to conduct DNA tests to help in identification of bodies charred beyond recognition in the air crash.

Mangalore: A team of experts arrived here Sunday morning from Hyderabad to conduct DNA tests to help in identification of bodies charred beyond recognition in the Air
India Express plane crash.

Some 115 bodies had been identified so far, Deputy Inspector General of Mangalore Gopal B Hosur told a news agency.

In the country`s worst air disaster in a decade, 158 people died when the Mangalore-bound Boeing 737-800 flight from Dubai overshot the runway and burst into flames at the Bajpe airport here. Eight persons survived.

Bodies of all the victims were recovered last night. Relatives of those killed have gathered at Wenlock Hospital and are trying to identify their loved ones.

Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials are at the crash site trying to recover the Cockpit Voice Recorder, commonly known as black box, as well as the
Flight Data Recorder.

The analysis of the data from these equipment could give vital clues to the cause of the crash.

The team that arrived here yesterday, also undertook inspection of the runway at the Bajpe airport, sources said.

As the Air India Express flight from Dubai came into land at the Bajpe airport at around 6.30 am yesterday in cloudy weather but good visibility, it went beyond the touchdown
area, broke up and caught fire even as some passengers jumped out.

The aircraft, carrying 160 passengers and a crew of six, hit a concrete localiser instrument, a navigation aid, and fell into a ravine 200 to 300 metres deep. The passengers included four infants and 19 other children.

Search on for black box

The search for the digital cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder of the ill-fated Air India aircraft was still on, more than 24 hours after the disaster.

Together called the black box, the equipment gives crucial inputs to investigators on the causes of air mishaps. A sturdy system the size of shoe boxes, it can withstand extreme temperatures.

It records the conversations inside the cockpit and those with the air traffic controllers, among its other uses, giving vital clues to the cause of any air disaster.