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Air France charged for Rio crash

AFP

French airline Air France was charged with involuntary homicide on Friday in an enquiry into a June 2009 crash in which 228 people died. The Airbus 330 flight from Rio to Paris crashed into the sea off the coast of Brazil.

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The plane maker Airbus was charged on Thursday.

Investigations so far suggest the accident was partly caused by the failure of the Pitot tubes, which measure the speed of an aircraft. But the Pitot tubes cannot have been the only cause.

Experts have said Air France reacted too late and ineffectively to the first warnings over the unreliability of the Pitot tubes. Air France has denied this.

Air France’s chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon has been charged as the representative of the company.

“We are very satisfied with this decision because Airbus will pay more attention to this model,” Nelson Marinho, president of the Brazilian association for the victims of the families, told French press agency AFP. “Since the accident, six other Airbuses have crashed.”

A renewed search for the aeroplane’s black boxes is due to begin on Monday. The search will cover a 10,000 km2 area.

So far, three per cent of the plane and some 50 bodies have been found.

The European Air Safety Agency said this week it is ready to testify in the trial.

Civil parties in the case have accused it of not sounding the alarm over similar problems with the Pitot tubes before the crash.

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