French investigators have identified the bodies of 153 of the 228 passengers and crew who died in the 2009 crash of an Air France flight from Rio to Paris, authorities said on Monday.

Fifty bodies were found and identified shortly after the disaster. The French interior ministry said in a statement on Monday a further 103 had been identified after wreckage was located in April and more bodies were hauled up from the floor of the Atlantic at a depth of 3,900 metres (12,800 feet).

All those on board were killed when flight AF447 slammed into the ocean on June 1, 2009 after stalling and plunging 38,000 feet.

Investigators have so far stopped short of explicitly blaming the pilots, but their reports have highlighted mistakes they said were made on the flight deck.

Pilots' unions and Air France insist faulty flight equipment was mostly to blame. Airbus and Air France are facing criminal probes in France and victims' families have laid the foundations for lawsuits.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Geert De Clercq)