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Relatives of Brazilian Plane Crash Victims Protest Slow Investigation
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Relatives of 154 people killed in an air crash held a silent march in the northwest Brazilian state of Alagoas on Thursday, demanding faster investigation into the incident.


The crash happened in September 2006 when a Boeing aircraft belonging to Brazil's Gol airlines was grazed by a Legacy jet owned by the US company Excelaire, in the Brazilian Amazon region.


"We have a lot of questions but get no answers," said Angelita de Marchi, vice president of the Relatives of Gol Flight 1907's Victims Association, adding that only two families have so far received compensation from the court cases.


Investigators of the incident said that the Brazilian aircraft and the US jet were flying in opposite directions but along the exact same flight path, at a height of 37,000 feet. The US jet should have been flying at 36,000 feet.


According to a report published by Brazil's Aeronautical Authority at the end of 2006, the Legacy jet had tried to contact the Brasilia control tower just before the crash but failed, which might have been caused by the failure of a transponder.


Another problem cited was an Amazon region blind spot, which could not be covered by the air traffic control radar.


The crash has triggered a severe crisis in Brazil's air transport industry.


(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2007)


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