The Air France airliner which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil two years ago, killing everyone on board included three Irish women.
A French search team have lifted 75 bodies to the surface recently. Earlier in the month, two bodies were rescued from a depth of 3,900 metres who were both still strapped into airline seats, reports the Irish Times, adding that DNA samples were taken from the bodies.
A Paris-based spokesman for the French military police force in charge of the operation told the Irish Times on the second anniversary of the crash, "Seventy-five bodies have been brought up but operations are still going on and we'll have to wait for the end of the search for a final figure."
The first two bodies recovered from the wreckage had been reasonably well preserved in the icy depths of the ocean but suffered some damage as they were raised from the seabed. Investigators are working to identify the victims and notify next of kin, says the Irish Times.
The Air France was bound for Rio de Janeiro on June 1st, 2009, where all 228 passengers and crew lost their lives. In the days following the crash 50 bodies were were found floating in the sea but the actual wreckage has only been recovered this year.
Only one of the three bodies of the Irish passengers have so far been recovered. Dr. Jane Deasy (27) from Rathgar in Dublin's south side was found in the initial search and there is hope that the bodies of Dr Aisling Butler (26) of Roscrea, Co Tipperary and Dr Eithne Walls (28) from Ballygowan, Co Down who were also returning from a holiday in Brazil, will be recovered amongst the latest finds.
The Irish Times also reports that, data recovered from the flight recorders and released last week showed the aircraft plunged out of control for four minutes before crashing into the ocean, raising questions over the way crew handled what appeared to be a "stall alarm" emergency.
The black boxes, recovered last month, showed the pilot was absent from the cockpit, and a 32-year old junior pilot had pulled the plane's nose up as the aircraft became unstable, generating an audible stall warning.
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