Rescuers have recovered another 17 bodies from the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean last week, bringing the total number to 41, Brazilian representatives involved in the search operation said.

A total of 187 others are still missing from the June 1 crash of Flight 447 bound from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, which was carrying 228 passengers and crew. The crash is the worst in the airline''s 75-year history, and the world''s worst for almost a decade.

The wreckage, including a large section of the tail fin, and bodies were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean 965 kilometers (600 miles) northeast of the Brazilian islands Fernando de Noronha.

Brazilian and French vessels and aircraft are searching for more bodies and debris from the plane, including the flight data recorders, or black boxes, that could hold clues as to the cause of the crash.

Experts said earlier 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 tracing the flight recorders, which are located in the rear of the aircraft.