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Updated: May 24, 2010 12:29 IST

Cockpit Voice Recorder recovered

Mangalore Bureau
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TRAGIC LOSS: A relative breaks down near the photograph of a crash victim during a prayer service at the St. Alfonso church in Mangalore on Sunday.
TRAGIC LOSS: A relative breaks down near the photograph of a crash victim during a prayer service at the St. Alfonso church in Mangalore on Sunday.

A team of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation on Sunday recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder of the Air India Express aircraft that crashed at the airport here early on Saturday. The Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DFDAU) too has been found.

The search for the Digital Flight Data Recorder, known as the ‘black box,' is still on.

Of the 158 people killed, more than 20 bodies remained unclaimed at the Government Wenlock Hospital. A procedure to identify the bodies through DNA testing has begun. A team from the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics collected samples from the victims and their family members.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav on Sunday announced an interim relief of Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh to the relatives of each of the dead.

The ill-fated Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Dubai, after overshooting the runway, plunged off a cliff into a wooded valley and burst into flames.

In New Delhi, a Civil Aviation Ministry release said a preliminary replay of Air Traffic Control tapes had been carried out and a detailed analysis was on. Preliminary investigation of the navigational, aerodrome and runway facilities available at the time of the accident had been completed. The analysis of the CVR and flight data would take about a fortnight.

Meanwhile, families and friends of many of the victims bade a tearful adieu to their near and dear ones, even as a few other grief-stricken relatives had a gruelling time, not being able to identify or claim the bodies.

As many as 51 bodies have been taken to the burial ground after religious rites at the Zeenath Baksh Masjid in Bundar since Saturday night, and 14 others at a masjid in Ullal.

The identification of three bodies at the Wenlock Hospital became complicated as there were two claimants for each. Rajendra Kodakani of Dandeli said: “We had identified the body of my brother, Mahendra Kodakani, on the basis of the marks of rings on three fingers. But another family from Kerala has also claimed his body.” The families may have to wait for two weeks for the DNA test results.

Umar U.H. of the Career Guidance and Information Centre, who has been helping the families of the victims, said that among the dead was Naushad Ahmed, whose marriage was fixed for June 13. His brother, Mohammed Ashraf, and his wife and two children also died in the crash.

Many leaders visited the site, and the survivors in the hospital. Among them were Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, Vyalar Ravi and E. Ahmed.

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