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Sub recovers Red Sea 'black box'

From Ben Wedeman
CNN Cairo Bureau Chief

A French robot submarine recovered the flight data recorder.
A French robot submarine recovered the flight data recorder.

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CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- An unmanned French Navy "Scorpio" submarine has recovered the flight data recorder from the wreckage of an Egyptian airliner about 1,000 meters under the Red Sea, Egyptian officials said Saturday.

Investigators are hoping the so-called black box will help explain what caused the January 3 crash of the Flash Airlines Boeing 737, which crashed into the sea shortly after take-off from the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.

All 148 aboard, including 135 French tourists and 13 Egyptian crew, were killed. Four of the passengers had dual U.S.-French citizenship.

The other "black box," the cockpit voice recorder, is still underwater, although French naval teams have mapped its location.

The flight data recorder will be sent to Cairo for further analysis.

The crash was the worst air disaster for France in terms of casualties. Both Egyptian and French investigators believe mechanical failure is the most likely cause.

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