Seventeen people were found dead at the crash site of the Air France airbus A-330 in the Atlantic Ocean, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Brazilian Air Force Henry Munhoz told a press conference on Sunday.

According to him, four men and four women were found dead; the sex of other people is unclear yet. The Constituicau frigate is bringing 9 air crash victims to the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago off the Brazilian coast. After that they will be transported to the Brazilian city of Resife for identification. Other 9 bodies are aboard a French warship, which is also participating in the search operation.

Munhoz noted that the Brazilian police would identify the victims, and the Brazilian authorities will coordinate the search operation. The French side is in charge of the investigation; the Air France company is responsible for personal belongings found at the crash site.

Apart from 5 Brazilian naval ships a French frigate is involved in the search operation. Fourteen airplanes – 12 Brazilian airplane and two French airplanes provide the air support. The search operation will be highly intensive in the next few days, Munhoz said. The major search area is 70 kilometers away from the place, where the last automatic signal about some malfunctions came from the crashed airbus overnight to June 1. This place is situated about 1.2 thousand kilometers off the Brazilian coast.

From now on the police will not inform the press about personal things found in the water in order to avoid unnecessary versions and speculations, the Brazilian Air Force representative said earlier. “Only relatives can receive this information,” he said, adding “hundreds of objects” were found and got aboard the naval ships. The first pictures of the A-330 hull with the inscription reading Air France were also made public.