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As the search continues for the bodies of victims, investigators have narrowed their search for the black box or flight data recorder to the area where the signals are coming from.
Investigators say they have picked up signals from the black box of the plane that crashed in southern Laos last week but the raging torrent and murky waters of the Mekong River have prevented them finding it.
“But the search teams still cannot retrieve it because the water is deep and muddy and the current is very strong,” said Yakua Lopangkao, director-general of Laos’ Department of Civil Aviation. “At this point we cannot find anything,” he said.
Forty nine people were killed when the Lao Airlines turboprop twin engine plane clipped trees, skidded on land and plunged into the river in extreme weather six kilometers from Pakse airport is Laos last Wednesday afternoon. It has been reported that eight bodies have still not been recovered.
The recovery effort has been a logistical nightmare with some bodies swept as much as 100 kilometers downstream and the plane’s fuselage still missing.
There has also been confusion over identifying bodies and two Australian federal police forensic experts were called in and have arrived at Pakse to help. Authorities said French investigators and Thai navy divers deployed sonar equipment on the river Sunday in an attempt to locate the plane’s wreckage and flight data recorder. They said strong currents were complicating the effort.
More than half of the 44 passengers on board were foreigners, including nationals of Australia, Canada, China, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. The plane also had five crew members, including a Cambodian captain. Officials said 14 of the recovered bodies had been identified