With more than 400 pieces of debris and 50 bodies discovered from the Atlantic Ocean, more information along with autopsies suggests that the plane may have broken up in sky, experts said on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Brazilian medical examiners said that fractures have been found in bodies -- a tell-tale sign of the plane’s fate.
Typically, if you see intact bodies and multiple fractures -- arm, leg and hip fractures -- it's a good indicator of a midflight break up, said Frank Ciacco, a former forensic expert at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.Especially if you're seeing large pieces of aircraft as well, he said.
The pattern of fractures was first reported Wednesday by Brazil's O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, which cited unnamed investigators. The paper also reported that some victims were found with little or no clothing, and had no signs of burns.
That lack of clothing could be significant, said Jack Casey, an aviation safety consultant in Washington, D.C., who is a former accident investigator.
In an in-air break up like we are supposing here, the clothes are just torn away, Casey said.
When a jet crashes into water mostly intact, debris and bodies are generally broken into small pieces -- such as the Egypt Air plane that hit the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from New York in 1999.
Lack of burn evidence would not necessarily rule out an explosion, said John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
Without the black boxes to help explain what went wrong, the Air France Flight's crash remains still a mystery.