Brazil mourns crash victims

2009-06-03 08:46

Brasilia - Brazil announced three days of national mourning starting on Tuesday in memory of the 228 people who died in an Air France accident off its coast.

Vice President Jose Alencar declared the observance, in the absence of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who was on a trip to Guatamela.

The official mourning period followed Defence Minister Nelson Jobim's announcement on Tuesday that debris sighted 1 000km off Brazil's northeast coast in the Atlantic came from Air France flight AF 447 which disappeared early on Monday.

The plane, which was nearly halfway through its 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, was full with passengers with 32 nationalities, most of them French or Brazilian.

On Wednesday, Catholic and Muslim services were to be held in Paris in memory of the passengers and crew of the plane, including one in Notre-Dame cathedral to be attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.