French Environment Minister Nathalie Ksciusko-Morizet announced on April 4 that bodies had been recovered from an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009.
The black box of the plane has yet to be recovered, at press time. the time of this writing.
The Air France Airbus 320-303 carried 228 passengers and crew members when it crashed due to extremely turbulent weather, according to USA Today. The aircraft was traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris and all members onboard were killed.
Minister Ksciusko-Morizet said at a press conference that not all of the wreckage was found but bodies had been recovered and were identifiable.
"In the past we found the tail, scattered pieces, but this time we have found a large part of the plane, surrounded by debris. Everything didn't explode. There was a part of the cabin, and in this cabin, there are bodies," said Ksciusko-Morizet.
The plane crashed on June 1, 2009 after experiencing an "intense high-altitude thunderstorm," according to the Associated Press (AP).
Jean-Paul Troadec, the chief of the French air accident investigation agency, said that if the black boxes were recovered and found to be not completely damaged, it would be possible to assess the recordings and data surrounding the crash.
The remains of the wreckage were located by undersea robots, which also found the motors of the plane. The robots were part of an expedition ship called the Alucia.
According to the AP, the robots were at a depth of about 3,800 to 4,000 meters under the sea when they found the wreckage.
Approximately $28 million has been spent on previous expeditions to look for the fallen plane. A new search is estimated to cost about $12.5 million and will be paid for by Air France and Airbus.