(From AFP)

In the presence of foreign experts, Russian officials on Friday opened the damaged black box of a warplane shot down by Turkey last month, promising a transparent probe into the incident.

Vladimir Putin and Sergei Shoigu with what is said to be the flight recorder from the Russian SU-24 bomber shot down by Turkey.

Officials warned that the memory card sustained damage as they opened the orange-painted flight recorder, with British and Chinese experts observing the procedure, an AFP correspondent saw.

Wearing lab coats and gloves, technicians used screwdrivers, drills, and even a vacuum cleaner as they opened the device under the watchful eyes of military personnel and dozens of journalists in a live national television broadcast.

“Our specialists extracted the memory card, but unfortunately it sustained mechanical damage,” said Sergei Bainetov, the deputy head of flight safety in the Russian armed forces, without elaborating on whether flight data could have been lost.

“The commission will discuss the situation calling upon international observers,” he added. The military said the black box had sustained damage, including multiple scratches and dents, but had not been exposed to the fire at the crash site.

The black box’s findings will be revealed on Monday, the air force said. Read more

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