Passing jets, black boxes provide last witness to activities on crashed plane in Greece - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Passing jets, black boxes provide last witness to activities on crashed plane in Greece

(Athens, Greece-AP) Aug. 14, 2005 - The pilots of two Greek F-16 fighters that intercepted a Cypriot airliner saw the co-pilot slumped in his seat shortly before the plane crashed north of Athens.

All 121 people aboard, including 48 children, were killed when the plane crashed into a hill and slid into a ravine.

The pilots also say oxygen masks were hanging from the cabin.

The Greek government says the F-16 pilots flew by the Helios Airways plane a second time and saw two people apparently trying to take control of the Boeing 737. It's not known whether the people were crew members or passengers.

The black boxes from the flight have been found.

The flight originated in Cyprus and was due to make a stop in Athens before going on to Prague, in the Czech Republic.

Relatives of the crash victims have swarmed the counters at Larnaca airport in Cyprus, calling managers "murderers."

The crowd is demanding to know whether their relatives were, in fact, on board the Helios Airways flight. Many are calling for a lynching of management.

Fueling the anger are reports the plane might have crashed due to a technical fault affecting Helios planes in the past. Terrorism has been all but ruled out.

Greek TV reports a text message to a victim's relative moments before the crash said, "Farewell, cousin, here we're frozen."

Updated 9:50pm by Kaela Harmon with AP

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