Lloyd’s To Search Air Crash Site

May 22, 2000

Lloyd’s of London has obtained permission from the Canadian government to search the seabed at the site of the Swissair MD-11 that crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia in September 1998, killing all 229 people aboard, and has applied for the requisite approvals from local authorities.

Lloyd’s, several of whose syndicates insured the aircraft and its cargo, hopes to recover a shipment of diamonds and other jewels valued by some estimates in excess of £200 million ($297 million). Divers who recovered pieces of the wreckage found no trace of the jewels, which were apparently shipped in a stainless steel tube.

However, Canadian, authorities familiar with the area think that the tube was either destroyed in the crash, or is deeply embedded in the ocean floor at the site.

Some local authorities in Nova Scotia have expressed displeasure at the prospects of disturbing an area where so many people died, but if Lloyd’s can overcome opposition, it hopes to begin explorations this summer using a mini-submarine.

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