MORONI, Sep 15 – A ship scouring the Indian Ocean where a Yemenia Airlines flight crashed with the loss of 152 lives returned to shore on Monday carrying human remains and aircraft debris, a military official said.
A total of 59 body parts were recovered and will be kept at the security operations and civil protection centre on the Comoros isles until they are identified, said centre head Lieutenant Colonel Ismael Mouigni-Daho.
"They will then be buried with the bodies recovered in Tanzania at the same cemetery, in keeping with the wishes of the families," he said.
Some bodies, thought to be of those killed in the accident, have washed up on the shores of a Tanzanian island. The Comoros isles are southeast of Tanzania.
The disaster happened on June 30 as the Airbus A310 from France plunged into the Indian Ocean shortly after beginning its descent towards the Comoros carrying mainly French and Comoran passengers.
"Only 17 bodies have been identified in Tanzania and they will be repatriated in the coming days," the lieutenant colonel added.
The recovered aircraft debris were transferred to a disused airport hangar in Moroni, Mouigni-Daho said.
Black box flight recorders from the jet were recovered from the ocean last month and are now in France, where they are being examined by the French air accident investigation agency.
French officials said on September 4 that investigators had found evidence that the crash was caused by pilot error. A French accident inquiry has yet to release its formal conclusions.
There was only one survivor among the passengers and crew: a 13-year-old French girl Bahia Bakari was found clinging to floating wreckage after losing her mother in the accident.