Recorders Recovered from Crashed ATR 72

 - April 9, 2007, 11:34 AM

Cypriot and Italian salvage crews today found the flight data recorder from the Tuninter ATR 72-200 that crashed off the northern coast of Sicily on August 6. Yesterday they retrieved the cockpit voice recorder and recovered the bodies of three missing occupants among the remaining wreckage at the bottom of the Tyrrhenian Sea, 14 nm northeast of Palermo. Less than an hour after the 66-seat airplane left Bari, Italy, on a charter flight to Djerba, Tunisia, both of its turboprop engines lost power simultaneously, forcing the pilots to ditch. Authorities suspect fuel starvation or contamination as the cause of the crash, which killed 16 of the 39 occupants. The aircraft was being operated by Tunisair regional subsidiary Tuninter. Officials were exploring the possibility of a broken fuel gauge or failure by the pilots to upload enough fuel at Bari. Earlier, investigators had ordered tests on the contents of the tanker truck that refueled the airplane.