Sub detects plane’s black box signals

Bahia Bakari is the only known survivor of the Yemenia crash. Bahia Bakari is the only known survivor of the Yemenia crash.
Associated Press / July 6, 2009
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PARIS - A submarine scouring the Indian Ocean yesterday detected the signal beacons of the two black boxes from the Yemenia Airways flight that crashed off the Comoros Islands, the French aviation agency said.

Plans were underway to retrieve the boxes within days, an official from Yemen said.

A 12-year-old girl who clung to debris for up to 13 hours, Bahia Bakari, is the only known survivor of Tuesday’s crash, which killed 152 people flying from Paris to Moroni, the capital of the Comoros, via San’a in Yemen.

The chief of Yemen’s Civil Aviation Authority, Hamed Ahmad Faraj, had only grim news yesterday for reporters, saying that search planes have spotted another floating body.

The Airbus A310’s flight data and cockpit recorders inside the black boxes are critical to help investigators understand why the flight went down, but the one-line statement from the French investigation agency BEA gave no indication when they might be recovered.

Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, spokesman for Yemen’s Supreme Committee on Civil Aviation Accidents, said, however, that search teams were working on plans to retrieve the black boxes within the next few days. Faraj said the French were bringing in special equipment from Djibouti to help.

French defense officials in Paris had no immediate comment.