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Friday, October 06, 2006

Brazilian Air Crash

Brazil Air DisasterBrazil's medical authorities on Thursday identified the first five bodies of those killed in last Friday's Brazilian airliner crash, which killed all the 154 people aboard.

All the 148 passengers and six crew members aboard the Boeing 737-800 were killed in Brazil's worst-ever air disaster, and 100 bodies have been found so far. The Medico-Legal Institute (IML) identified the five bodies using fingerprints and information supplied by victims' families.

The IML has been operating under emergency conditions, using three large army tents and undertaking seven autopsies simultaneously. The IML has not yet received all the fingerprints of victims and may have to resort to DNA examinations which typically take five days to get results.

The Boeing collided with a small executive jet and then crashed in the remote Amazon jungle.
The executive jet, a Legacy 600 made by Embraer, made an emergency landing at a nearby air force base after the collision, with no casualties.

The crashed airliner belonged to low-cost airlines Gol, Brazil's second largest air carrier. The company said in a statement that the U.S. aircraft giant Boeing had just delivered the jet on Sept. 12. The Boeing's black boxes had been found earlier and the cause of the accident was under investigation.

Brazil's Defense Minister Waldir Pires said the authorities were investigating why the smaller jet had not been flying at its authorized altitude of 11,000 meters.
The collision took place at 11,300 meters, the authorized altitude for the Gol airliner.


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