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Comoros: Yemenia flight data recorder is found

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[August 28, 2009]  MORONI, Comoros (AP) -- An international team on Friday retrieved a slightly damaged flight data recorder from a Yemenia Airways flight that crashed in the Indian Ocean on June 30, killing 152 people, Comoros-based officials said.

The black box was picked up underwater off the coast of the island nation's capital, Moroni, according to a statement released by the Comoros-based investigation team. No details were provided about the other box containing the voice recorder.

Interior Minister Bourhane Hamidou said the box is slightly damaged.

The Yemenia Flight 626 crashed while flying from Paris to Moroni via Yemen. One teenage girl survived, and is back home outside Paris.

A French naval ship detected signal beacons of the flight data and cockpit recorders -- key to determining the cause of the crash -- in July at depths of 3,900 feet (1,200 meters) about nine miles (15 kilometers) northwest of Grand Comoros island but lacked deep sea diving equipment to retrieve them.

A French ship carrying a special underwater robot arrived at the site Aug. 20 to continue the search for the black boxes and other debris from the plane.

Investigators from France, Yemen and Comoros are participating in the operation.

[Associated Press]

Associated Press writer Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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