Hungary hands over black box recovered from crashed military plane to Slovakia

Hungarian police on Saturday handed over a black box recorder to Slovak officials who will analyze it for clues to what caused a Slovak military plane to crash into a mountain, killing 42 people.

Only one person survived Thursday's crash of an AN-24 in northeast Hungary, near the Slovakian border. Many of the passengers were Slovak soldiers returning home from participating in a NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

"We handed over one of the black boxes recovered from the remains of the airplane to Slovak military authorities," police spokesman Laszlo Garamvolgyi told The Associated Press.

The black box is expected to provide clues that could help investigators determine what may have caused the crash.

The Slovak military will analyze the data recorder's contents with assistance from Hungarian police and aviation experts, Garamvolgyi said.

A second black box, thought to hold sound recordings from the cockpit, was badly damaged in the crash and is unlikely to be of use in the investigation, he added. But it was expected to be handed over to Slovakia on Sunday.

The remains of the 42 people who died in the crash were recovered Friday and taken to Slovakia. The crash occurred near the village of Hejce, around 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Budapest.

The Slovak government declared a 24-hour mourning period from noon (1100 GMT) on Monday.

The sole survivor, Martin Farkas, 27, was taken to a hospital in the Slovak city of Kosice, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the crash site and the AN-24's original destination.

Farkas was in stable condition Saturday and doctors were expected to gradually wake him from his medically induced coma next week, Slovak media reported.

Farkas was able to call his wife on his cellular phone immediately after the crash and she in turn alerted Slovak authorities to the accident, AP reported. V.A.

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