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Air France plane crash on the Rio de Janeiro-Paris route

Publié le June 8, 2009
Appointment of an ambassador for the passengers’ families and cooperation between the French authorities and officials of the countries affected by the disaster – Communiqué issued by the Prime Minister’s Office
Paris, June 7, 2009

Prime Minister François Fillon held a ministerial meeting on Sunday, 7 June 2009 on the coordination of all the measures taken following the disappearance on 1 June 2009 of flight AF 447 on the Rio de Janeiro-Paris route.

The meeting was attended by Jean-Louis Borloo, Ministre d’Etat, Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning (Regional Development), Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, and Dominique Bussereau, Minister of State responsible for Transport, along with representatives of the justice and defence ministries.

On Bernard Kouchner’s proposal, the Prime Minister has decided to appoint an ambassador for the families of the passengers on board the flight, who included 72 of our compatriots. He is Pierre-Jean Vandoorne, currently Inspecteur général adjoint des Affaires étrangères [deputy inspector general at the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry].

Pierre-Jean Vandoorne is tasked with assisting the families of flight AF 447’s 228 passengers, of 32 nationalities, particularly by facilitating their dealings with government departments and Air France.

He will also ensure smooth cooperation between the French authorities and officials in the countries affected by the disaster.

The search operation is being spearheaded by the bureau d’enquêtes et d’analyses [BEA – inquiry and analysis bureau] which is deciding on the missions, priorities and [air and sea] assets to be requested. The Defence Ministry is deploying these assets. Finally, the Centre de planification et de conduite des operations [CPCO – operational planning and control centre] is centralizing all the information gathered in the search operation.

Five French aircraft are participating in the search. The frigate “Ventôse” arrived in the area this morning with an onboard helicopter. Nine aircraft and five ships from Brazil and a US patrol aircraft are working in coordination with the French assets. Finally, the nuclear attack submarine “Emeraude” will arrive in the area on Wednesday to help locate the black boxes./.

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