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Decoding of Tu-154 plane’s black boxes may take up to several weeks

December 27, 2016, 10:38 UTC+3

The flight data recorders can remain underwater for at least 36 hours

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Emergency workers recover Tupolev Tu-154 wreckage from the Black Sea

Emergency workers recover Tupolev Tu-154 wreckage from the Black Sea

© Russian Emergency Situations Ministry/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/.The decoding of flight data recorders of the Tu-154 plane that crashed in the Black Sea near Sochi may last for up to several weeks depending on the tape’s condition, a source close to the investigation told TASS on Tuesday.

"To analyze all this, there is the need to look at the condition of the tape and try to decode all this, this cannot be done during one day. The process may take from a few days up to several weeks," the source said.

The flight data recorders will be transported submerged in the water, the source said, adding that no air should penetrate them.

"The container is hermetically sealed and can weather 36 hours in the sea water. This the ideal time during which it should be pulled from the water, but this is no limit," he stressed.

Search operation updates 

The rescue team has found seven large parts of the crashed Tu-154 plane at the bottom of the Black Sea and four of them have been already recovered, the source close to the investigation said.

"At the moment, seven large fragments of the plane have been discovered. Four fragments have been taken to the surface and three more are due to be recovered during the day, including the tail section where the black boxes should be located."

A total of 13 bodies and 156 body parts have been found so far, the source added

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