Skip to comments.Air France crash victims 'must not be recovered'
Posted on 05/11/2011 2:19:51 PM PDT by NCjim
The remains of up to 100 victims of the worst crash in Air France's history must not be recovered from the sea bed because it is too traumatic for their families, judges have ruled.
Two bodies still strapped to their plane seats were last week raised from the wreckage of Air France flight 447, which crashed two years ago killing all 228 people on board.
Experts say the victims have been preserved as 'waxworks' by the extreme cold, darkness and water pressure almost three miles below the Atlantic Ocean.
Robotic underwater cameras have shown many victims still intact in their seats in the smashed fuselage of the Airbus A330 jet from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
But both those bodies recovered had disintegrated while being raised through warmer water and stronger currents to the surface, rescue officials said.
Now two Paris judges overseeing the recovery operation have said more decomposing bodies should not be brought up from the wreckage.
Judges Sylvie Zimmerman and Yann Danielle told rescuers: "To preserve their dignity and out of respect for the families who mourn them, the remains of those too badly altered should not be recovered.
"While tests are carried out on those two bodies already recovered to see if they can be identified, no others will be raised."
Only 50 bodies floating on the surface were recovered when the plane crashed 1,500 miles off the coast of northern Brazil on June 1, 2009.
Another 178 are still missing and up to 100 of those are thought to be inside or around the wreckage itself.
The raising of the bodies came a week after the two black box cockpit voice recorders were also recovered during a fourth search mission by France's Bureau of Investigation which began a month ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Ugh. I’m with the courts on this one.
The only reason to attempt to recover any bodies..assuming that it was possible to do so..without then decomposing as they rose to the surface....would be to see if any signs of explosion could be detected. The body would be an excellent way to determine if a bomb was on board, as shrapnel would penetrate into the flesh, and be easily recovered and identified.
Thank you for posting this story. I worked at the North American HQ of Air France for nearly 20 years, during the halcyon years of aviation. I had the privilege of watching crew maneuver flight simulators and visited their training centers in France. This was a tragic accident and I hope we will soon learn what went wrong, via the flight recorders.
Agh, why can’t it be worked out between the families and the salvage operators on an individual basis. Having been warned about what will likely happen, if a family still wants to pay for the “waxworks” to be brought up for traditional interment or cremation they should get it. Me, I’d settle for a photograph taken by a robot.
How are the individual families going to be able to tell salvage operators “which one” is their loved one, to be brought up? I expect they are not all sitting in neat, orderly rows with visible seat numbers.
Well, first and foremost, what do the families say? Second, preserve the dignity of a dead body? I assure them, they don’t care.
Have a robot grab a bit of a body with a familiar face for a DNA test to compare with living relatives, I suppose. Or compare to photographs taken when the person was living. Being doused in salt water of that strength would probably preserve features pretty well, just like well-packed pickles.
IMO, the top priority should be retrieving the wreckage (whether or not bodies are in it)in order to determine what caused this awful crash and hopefully preventing future ones in like circumstances. The bodies could yield clues as well - spine compression and arm/leg fractures could provide clues as well. We know what injuries the previously recovered individuals sustained, but if people’s injuries varied by seat location, it might say something about whether the aircraft broke up before it hit the water.
You cannot be serious. “A familiar face”? So just merrily go through the remains of the cabin with a robot and see if you can see someone who looks like Uncle Pierre or Aunt Marielle?
Merrily or sadly, but these robots don’t sound like big lumbering things. Probably something about the size of a catfish that runs on batteries and sonars its data (or an abridged version of it) back out with no need for a tether. One coordinated visit with photos of all faces would do if the remains are sitting stably on the ocean floor.
Why haven’t these people become “fish food”? They’ve been there close to 2 years.
I am as well. This should remain their tomb and let them rest in peace.
Depth, pressure and temperature I would assume.
These bodies are considered legally “buried.”
Anyone raising such a body incurs a number of potentially very expensive mandated costs, such as preservation, reburial, etc.
>>One coordinated visit with photos of all faces would do if the remains <<
That might be fine for unconnected analysts but that’s not the memory you want to leave with close relatives. I am sure their ride to the bottom was not smooth. Quite a few probably got the snot knocked out of them with overhead luggage slamming into them and so on and so on.
Yeah, many families might prefer to give the robot operators a photograph and tell them hey, look for this person and only if you’re pretty darn sure you have them then show it to me, or just go ahead and compare the DNA then tell me if you got a match.
But the same thing happens anywhere people died in carnage.
So sad. I commiserate with their families.
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