Article published on the 2009-06-03 Latest update 2009-06-03 09:49 TU
On Wednesday, memorial services are planned in Paris for the victims of the crash. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to attend one of them, at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. Brazil is in a three-day national mourning period, which started on Tuesday.
The search continues meanwhile, after debris that was clearly identified as coming from a long-haul plane was spotted by the aerial search teams. Under the sea, two mini-submarines are to be deployed. They are capable of searching in the 6,000-metre depths of that part of the Atlantic. Aircraft black boxes can survive up to 30 days at that depth.
Brazilian officials also said that an air force plane with night-vision sensors had been sweeping the area. Three more Brazilian aircraft were to be deployed.
Cargo ships from France and the Netherlands have also been re-routed to the crash zone.
A top French military official, Captain Christophe Prazuck, told the French news agency, AFP that "there is no longer any room for doubt" that debris already found was from AF447, echoing comments made late Tuesday by the Brazilian Defense Ministry.
The debris was spread out over five kilometres, some 500 kilometres northeast of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha archipelago. Materials already found include plane cables and components and fuel slicks.
Brazil's air force has said that France's Bureau of Investigations and Analyses is responsible for the investigation into the causes of the accident, and that some bureau officials were already at work in Brazil.
Searching in this particular crash zone is difficult relative to some other parts of the ocean because of storms and powerful currents.
Officials are hesitant to speculate about the cause of the crash until the investigation is further underway. However, some experts have suggested strong turbulence, pilot error, mechanical defects, or even terrorism.
France to lead inquiry into cause of crash