Robot dives for crash recorders
A deep-sea robot has begun searching for the flight recorders of a plane that crashed off Egypt's coast.
The submarine, Scorpio 2000, which can reach depths of 1,100 metres (3,600 feet), was tested in the Red Sea for a few
hours on Tuesday before the real search began.
The "black box" recorders are believed to lie about 800 metres (2,600ft) down.
It is hoped they will explain why the Sharm el-Sheikh to Paris flight crashed on 3 January killing all 148 on board.
The Flash Airlines-operated Boeing 737 had been carrying 134 French tourists, one Moroccan and 13 Egyptian crew members.
The French Government and French firms have been helping to retrieve debris from the crash.
The Scorpio 2000 robot is on loan from state-run France Telecom.
A second French robot submarine, Super-Achilles is due to arrive on Thursday.
Together, the robots will boost the efforts of the diving teams who have been at the site since shortly after the crash.
The 3.4-tonne Scorpio was flown out to Egypt in an Antonov 124 cargo plane before being transferred to France Telecom's
cable ship L'ile de Batz, from which it was lowered.
As well as diving deep the robot can also retrieve objects weighing from 100 to 500 kilograms (220 to 1,100 pounds).
The French navy's Beautemps-Beaupre is currently on its way to Egypt to join other French and Egyptian ships in
Sharm-el-Sheikh this week.
The oceanographic ship is expected to make a map of the sea-floor and help find debris from the plane.
Egypt has ruled out the possibility that the jet was brought down by a terrorist attack, saying the crash was an accident
caused by a mechanical failure.
Source: BBC News