Air India Crashed 737 Black Box Found

May 25, 2010

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A black box recorder has been recovered from the Air India Express Boeing 737-800 aircraft that crashed in southern India last week, killing 158 people on board, an official said on Tuesday.

The cause of the worst air disaster in India in more than a decade was still unknown, said officials.

"Yes, the black box has been found," Peter Abraham, director at the Mangalore airport said.

The Air India Express aircraft, a budget carrier owned by state-run Air India and carrying 166 people and crew, crashed early on Saturday while landing at Mangalore city's "table-top" airport which overlooks a ravine.

Eight people survived, mostly by jumping out of the plane that broke into two after crashing.

While the cause of the crash has not been established, India's media and some aviation experts have said the runway at Mangalore was not wide or long enough and may have given little room for the pilot to react after landing.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said the runway should not be blamed for the crash, adding the Mangalore crash should be seen as an isolated incident.

India has had several near misses in the past few years, underscoring aviation safety issues.

(Reuters)