Body Recovered From Crashed Air France Jet

A body from the 2009 Air France crash that killed all 228 people aboard has been raised from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The body has been preserved by high pressure and low temperatures while it lay in the submerged wreckage for nearly two years.

And it was still belted to an airline seat as French investigators brought it aboard their search vessel off Brazil's northeast coast from a robot submarine.

The search party located the wreckage a month ago after nearly two years of scouring the seabed.

In recent days they also found the Airbus A330's cockpit voice recorder and 'black box' data memory unit.

If the units are in good condition, they could solve the mystery about why Flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris fell into the Atlantic during an intense high-altitude thunderstorm.

They were discovered about 3,900m (12,800ft) below the surface by submarine.

A statement from the French Gendarmerie, which has experts on a recovery boat, said that the body was pulled up on Thursday morning.

Recovering the remains involved great technical difficulty, it said, and it is unclear if all the bodies found in the latest search can be recovered.

A spokesman for the recovery operation said: "It's difficult because the bodies are well preserved on the seabed with the pressure and the temperature, but bringing them up through warmer water causes decomposition."

The French Interior Ministry said in a statement that investigators on board the search vessel had taken DNA samples from the body, which would be sent back to France along with the two black boxes and used to try and identify the victim.

Theories about the cause of the disaster have focused on the possible icing up of the aircraft's speed sensors, which seemed to give inconsistent readings before communication was lost.