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Searchers find 8 more bodies from downed Air France Flight 447

Searchers pulled eight more bodies from the Atlantic Ocean on Monday as the hunt continued for wreckage of the Air France jetliner that crashed off the coast of South America just over a week ago.

Brazilians recover tail section of lost Airbus

Searchers pulled eight more bodies from the Atlantic Ocean on Monday as the hunt continued for wreckage of the Air France jetliner that crashed off the coast of South America just over a week ago.

A total of 24 bodies have now been recovered, air force Col. Henry Munhoz of the Brazilian military said. He offered no details on the condition of the bodies, their gender or ages.   

The bodies were found near where 16 others were recovered on Saturday and Sunday — roughly 640 kilometres northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands off Brazil's northern coast. The location is about 70 kilometres from where the doomed jet sent out automated messages signalling electrical failures and loss of cabin pressure.

The Brazilian military initially said 17 bodies had been found on the weekend, but officials revised the number to 16, saying they had made an error in counting.

Air France Flight 447 was carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it crashed May 31. One Canadian, 49-year-old Brad Clemes of Guelph, Ont., was on board.

Recovery operations have focused on finding more bodies, and locating the data and flight recorders aboard the plane.

On Monday, divers from the Brazilian navy recovered a large red, blue and white piece of the Airbus A330's tail section.

Officials concede they may never know what caused the plane to crash without recovering the flight recorders, commonly known as black boxes. Investigators hope the recorders — which are somewhere in the ocean depths — will give them more information about inconsistencies in airspeed readings emitted from onboard computers during the final minutes of the flight.

French investigators say the pilots may have been incorrectly adjusting the plane's speed based on wrong information given by sensors known as pitot tubes, mounted outside the aircraft.

"The bulk of the aircraft may be in as much as 3,000 metres of water," said the CBC's David Common, reporting from Paris.

"So finding anything like those black boxes, the flight data recorders, is very, very difficult."

French-Brazilian collaboration

France is leading the investigation into the cause of the crash, while Brazilian officials are focusing on the recovery of victims and wreckage from Flight 447, which likely broke up in midair in turbulent weather the night of May 31.

France has sent a nuclear submarine to help in efforts to find the black boxes and more bodies. It is due to arrive at the search area later this week. The United States, meanwhile, has dispatched sophisticated listening equipment designed to pick up "pings" — electronic sounds emitted by the black boxes to aid in locating them.

"Clearly they're in the right place, finding the right things, but so much of it may be on the sea bottom and perhaps will never, ever be recovered," said Common, speaking of the search efforts.

Brazilian authorities also told reporters Monday that searchers had spotted two airplane seats and debris with Air France's logo, and recovered dozens of structural components from the plane. They had already recovered jet wing fragments, and said hundreds of personal items believed to have belonged to passengers were plucked from the water.

"We know how significant it is for a family to recover their loved one," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday on his weekly radio show.

He added: "During this painful time, it's not going to resolve the problem, but it is an immense comfort to know they can bury their loved ones."

With files from The Associated Press

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