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Hunt for clues after India crash kills 158; 8 live

May 23, 2010 4:59:00 AM - thestate.com
Grieving relatives collected the victims' remains from a crashed Indian plane and investigators sifted through the rubble Sunday for the cockpit voice and the flight data recorder after India's worst air disaster in more than a decade killed 158 people.

Eight people survived Saturday's crash of an Air India Boeing 737-800 that overshot a hilltop runway southern India and plunged over a cliff, officials said. At least some of the survivors managed to jump from the wreckage just before it burst into flames.

Recovery of the black boxes is crucial for determining what went wrong with the aircraft as it came for landing after a flight from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Investigators used cutters to search for the black boxes in the twisted wreckage of the aircraft, which was scattered along the hillside of thick grass and trees just outside Mangalore's Bajpe airport.

A four-member U.S. forensic team also arrived in India to help in the investigation, said Harpreet Singh, an Air India spokeswoman. She refused to speculate on the cause of the crash.

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