London — A robot submarine combing the Atlantic Ocean floor off Ireland found wreckage Friday that is believed to contain the flight recorders of an air Indian jumbo jet that crashed June 23, the operators said. All 329 people aboard the plane died in the crash.
Neville Hunter, a spokesman for the Cable and Wireless Telecommunications Co., told The Associated Press that his firm could recover the wreckage, believed to contain the plane’s “black boxes,” as soon as Indian and Canadian authorities give permission.
The jumbo jet, on a flight from Montreal to Bombay, India, via London, vanished from radar screens before the pilot could radio a distress call, leading to speculation there may have been an explosion aboard.
Based on engineering drawings of the Boeing 747, Cahle and Wireless specialists believe the flight recordings are inside a panel from the aircraft’s tail found at 1 p.m. EDT some 100 miles southwest of Ireland, Hunter said.
The panel could hold the clue to whether an explosion caused the jet to crash into the sea. There have been suspicions that a terrorist bomb was responsible.
The panel was found among wreckage that is scattered along a three mile long path on the seabed, Hunter said.
“It could be recovered if we receive instructions from the Indian and Canadian authorities,” he said. The underwater robot, named Scarab, could attach lines to the tail panel so that the mother ship could haul the panel up.
Until the panel is brought to the surface, investigators will not know whether it contains the flight recorder.
AIRINDIA JUMBO JET BLACK BOX RECOVERED. TO AVOID ANY TAMPERING CANADIAN AUTHORITIES NEED TO BE VIGILANT.
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