31 May 2005

France to seek US help to solve plane mystery in French Polynesia - report

2:11 pm on 31 May 2005

The leader of French Polynesia's opposition party, Gaston Flosse, says the French President, Jacques Chirac, will ask the United States for help in determining the fate of a plane that disappeared in the Tuamotu archipelago three years ago.

No wreckage has ever been found of the twin-engine plane which vanished with five people onboard, including three assembly members of the then opposition Fetia Api Party.

Mr Flosse has told the wife of one of the missing politicians that Mr Chirac will explore if the US has satellite images from the area of the presumed crash.

The call for US help comes as the assembly is about to open a new inquiry into the disappearance.

A French examination of the incident concluded that the plane crashed because of engine problems or pilot error.