The Brazilian Navy has recovered a large section of the tail fin of an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic last week, and a total of 24 bodies have also been found.

Flight 447 disappeared on June 1 four hours into its journey from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. All the 228 passengers and crew on board are presumed dead in the crash, the worst in the airline''s 75-year history, and the world''s worst for almost a decade.

The first two bodies were discovered on Saturday hundreds of kilometers northeast of Brazil''s Fernando de Noronha archipelago, which is being used as a base for search operations.

Brazilian and French navy and air force are searching for more bodies and wreckage of the plane, including the flight data recorders, or black boxes, that could hold clues as to what happened.

Experts said on Monday that the recovery of the largely intact tail fin suggested the airliner broke up in flight before crashing into the water. Finding part of the tail section raised hopes about finding the black boxes, which are located in the rear of the aircraft.

Wing fragments, seats, LCD screens, oxygen masks and some personal effect of passengers have also been found in the water.