Attempts by a French team to recover up to 60 bodies from a crashed airliner three miles below the South Atlantic have deepened a rift among the victims' families, who are torn over the final resting place of loved ones.
After two years of searching, the first two bodies from the wreckage of the Air France Flight 447 have now been raised to the surface.
A private note to families of victims from a French government official admitted the remains — almost intact when discovered still strapped into a seat — had disintegrated during the journey to the surface. The plane plunged into the sea on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board.
Eithne Walls (28), a doctor from Ballygowan, was one of those killed when the plane plunged into the sea off the coast of Brazil.
Some French relatives say the recovery operation is “macabre” and victims should rest in peace.
The French government says that all of the bodies must be recovered for a criminal investigation into possible manslaughter and for autopsies to be carried out on the remains.