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  Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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About 10% of the wreckage of an Armenian Airbus that crashed off Russia's Black Sea coast two days ago killing 113 people has been recovered
About 10% of the wreckage of an Armenian Airbus that crashed off Russia's Black Sea coast two days ago killing 113 people has been recovered, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Friday. Gennady Korotkin, a department head in the ministry, said Be-200ChS amphibious aircraft and a Ka-32 helicopter, and rescue boat equipped with a side-scanning sonar had searched about 40% of the crash site on Thursday. Russian and French experts said Thursday they had spotted two signals from the flight data recorders, which are crucial for determining the causes of the crash. "We know the exact coordinates of the sources," Korotkin said. Russia's Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that he hoped the black boxes would be found, adding it was important for avoiding a repetition of the tragedy. "The search efforts being conducted at the moment give us hope that the black boxes will be found," the minister said in Moscow, although he admitted that rugged seafloor, high concentration of hydrogen sulfide, and plankton were complicating the search. He also said the signals did not guarantee that the boxes would be found and retrieved. A boat carrying the latest search equipment designed for Russia's navy, the Kalmar unit, is set to join the recovery operation, its producer said Friday. Experts said they believed the recorders were at a depth of 680 meters (2,230 feet). Transportation Minister Igor Levitin was less optimistic about the prospect of recovering the recorders and cited global statistics on air crashes at sea for the last 10 years. "There has been no case when an airliner has been recovered from such a depth." Levitin, however, said the most important thing was to recover the bodies. He said that relations of those killed in the crash were donating their blood for DNA in a bid to facilitate identification. In all, 50 bodies have been recovered and 41 of them have been identified.
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