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Russian searchers on Wednesday recovered the second flight recorder from an Armenian airliner that crashed into the Black Sea three weeks ago, killing all 113 people aboard, local media reported.

The flight data recorder was lifted by a diving apparatus from a depth of about 1,640 feet (500 meters) after it was separated from a thick layer of silt, said Transport Ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Kryshtanovskaya, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.

The so-called 'black box" was discovered within 16 meters (50 feet) from the spot where workers on Monday found the plane's cockpit voice recorder. Russian television channels showed footage of a yellow, remote-controlled apparatus lifting the red recorder from the sea surface.

Investigators hope the two recorders will help answer why the Armavia Airbus A-320 plane plunged into the sea on May 3 amid heavy rain and poor visibility. The flight had been en route to the southern Russian sea resort Sochi from the Armenian capital, Yerevan. All passengers and crew members on board were killed.

Prosecutors almost immediately dismissed the possibility that terrorists had brought the plane down, and officials point to rough weather or pilot error as the likely cause. Armavia officials have suggested, however, that air traffic controllers were at least partly to blame.

(Itar-Tass-Photolur photo)
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