The recovery of a body from the shattered wreckage of flight AF 447 almost four kilometres beneath the surface of the ocean has highlighted the debate on whether the remains of those who died should be left where they perished or brought to the surface.
Some believe it is important to help ease the grieving process and to give a final burial place to the victims.
Nelson Marinho is the President of the Brazilian Association of Relatives of Victims of Air France Flight 447: “It’s a partial relief. We will carry these emotions for the rest of our lives. Nevertheless, there is some relief because, finally, those who died will have a burial.”
The bodies of 51 of the 228 passengers were found floating on the surface after the jet plunged into the sea two years ago.
The human remains brought to the surface on Thursday morning was the first attempt by the French search team to recover any of the victims.
“I would prefer them to be left where they are. It has become a cemetery. It is a place of memory for all the families who have been affected by this tragedy,” said a fiancee of one of those who died in the plane crash.
The Air France Airbus A330 had taken off from Rio bound for Paris when contact was lost.
A robot submarine has now recovered two voice and data recorders which may help solve the mystery of its disappearance.