Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Athens Crash Bodies 'Were Frozen Solid'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Athens Crash Bodies 'Were Frozen Solid'

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK SAWER

THE bodies recovered after the Cypriot airline disaster were frozen solid, rescuers said.

The reports strengthen theories that the two pilots lost consciousness because of a lack of oxygen after a severe fall in cabin pressure before the Helios Airways Boeing 737 plunged to the ground outside Athens.

All 121 people on board were killed. The victims included 21 children, Greek Cypriots, four Armenians and a German pilot.

Two black box recorders recovered from the crash site will be sent to France for examination.

But the head of the Greek airline safety committee, Akrivos Tsolakis, said one recorder was badly damaged.

Authorities said the cause of yesterday's crash appeared to be technical failure, resulting in high-altitude decompression.

A transport official said the 115 passengers and six crew members may have died before impact.

A Greek Defence Ministry source said: "Autopsy on passengers so far shows the bodies were frozen solid, including some whose skin was charred by flames from the crash. …

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