Investigators recover more parts of the plane that are stained with soot
May 15, 1996
Web posted at: 1:30 p.m. EDT
MIAMI, Fla. (CNN) -- Investigators pulled more wreckage from ValuJet Flight 592 from the muck of the everglades Wednesday, including more parts that appear to be covered in soot.
Robert Francis, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters, "We are starting to find more pieces of the aircraft...specifically from the cockpit."
Francis said among the latest items recovereed were the crew's flight bags, the log book of one member of the crew, part of the "control column" and piece of the windshield. (225K AIFF or WAV sound)
He said the location of the cockpit voice recorder is still unknown. The recorder was in the tail of the plane before the crash. He said no signal from the recorder's radio had been detected.
Francis said investigators had also found a second floor beam with soot on one strengthener attached to one side of the beam but no soot on a strengthener on the other side of the beam. Another floor beam was found Tuesday.
While Francis said that an explosion remained a possibility, investigators had found nothing to indicate that the airplane had exploded in the air.
Francis said Tuesday night the jet was carrying 50 to 60 oxygen generators as cargo when it crashed and said the plane may have suffered an explosion and fire.
Francis also said that a forward cargo hold near the cockpit contained two of the oxygen generators and three aircraft tires that were being transported to Atlanta as cargo.
The generators belonged to Valujet and had "exceeded their shelf life," he said. Oxygen generators are bottles filled with chemicals that, when mixed, give off oxygen that passengers breath through face masks during emergencies.
- Infant's death raises ValuJet crash toll to 110 people - May 15
- 'There could have been an explosion' - May 14
- Poll: Fliers will keep flocking to cheaper skies - May 15, 1996
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