Jet explosion ruled out

FERNANDO DE NORONHA, Brazil - THE hunt for the wreck of an Air France jet that plunged into the ocean with 228 people intensified yesterday after new clues appeared to rule out a mid-air fire or explosion.

As navy ships trawled the crash site in the Atlantic, Brazil's defence minister said a fuel slick had been found under the planned route of the Rio de Janeiro to Paris flight, which went down on Monday killing everyone on board.

Minister Nelson Jobim said on Wednesday that the 20km long kerosene trail "means that it is improbable that there was a fire or explosion" because the high-octane jet fuel would have ignited.

He stressed that the mystery of Air France flight AF 477 was far from being solved . - Sapa-AFP