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No toxic fumes detected in crash victims, voice recorder found
2005-08-19 14:23:58

Athens, Aug 19 (CNA) Tests so far carried out on victims of a Cyprus airliner crash have shown no carbon monoxide poisoning, forensic experts in Athens said today.

After six days of search, the cockpit voice recorder was found, raising hopes that the last conversations would shed light on Sunday's air disaster when an Helios Airways Boeing 737 crashed into the mountainside, near Athens, killing all 121 people on board.

The other ''black box'', which records flight data, had already been located.

Greece's Chief Coroner Philippos Koutsaftis has told reporters that of six bodies examined, five, including the co-pilot, showed no signs of breathing in carbon monoxide. A stewardess had a minimum level of 7 percent, which is not considered dangerous, he added.

''We are still carrying out tests to see if other gases, poisons, drugs or alcohol can be detected,'' said Koutsaftis after meeting Greek Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras, as investigators still try to find out why the pilot, co-pilot and many passengers on the Helios Airways Boeing 737 apparently fell unconscious before the plane crashed.

At the crash site the second ''black box'', the voice recorder has been found near the wreckage of the tail section of the plane.

Head of the investigation commission in Greece Akrivos Tsolakis said that a member of the Commission of Greek experts is heading to Paris to deliver the voice recorder to the same center where the first ''black box'' is already being examined. The whole procedure, he added will be video taped.

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