Company wants to search for Swissair diamonds

CBC news has learned that Lloyds of London has plans to search the Swissair crash site for $300 million is diamonds and jewels that was aboard the ill fated plane.

Swissair flight 111 crashed into the ocean off Peggy's Cove in September of 1998, killing all 229 passengers. Most of the wreckage has been recovered, and investigators are still trying to piece together what happened.

Now, Lloyds of London has staked a claim to the crash site through a Canadian insurance company. They have applied for a Treasure Trove license from the Nova Scotia government.

The insurance company confirms the application to hunt for Swissair treasure as does the Nova Scotia government but neither would agree to an interview.

"This is tasteless," said Peggy's Cove MLA Bill Estabrooks who wants the the provincial to immediately reject any treasure trove application for the crash site."I appreciate that this is a fair chunk of change under the water but I have reservations about the plan because of the sacredness of the site."

The manifest of the Swissair plane shows that 2 kilograms of diamonds and 5 kilograms of jewelry were aboard when it crashed, but the treasure has never been found, even when a giant vacuum ship swept the site.

There may be a good reason for that because the diamonds were in a stainless steel tube. One theory is that the tube was shot from the plane on impact, another is that it disintegrated or was driven deep into the seabed.

The insurance company plans to use a mini-submarine to hunt for the Swissair treasure and a spokesperson said they hope to begin the search this summer.