The story

A 12-mile oil slick near where an Air France jet crashed Monday into the Atlantic Ocean indicates the plane likely didn't break up until it hit the water, Brazil's defense minister said Wednesday.

If true, that would argue against an in-flight explosion as the cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told reporters.

But Robert Francis, former vice chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, said the question of determining where a plane broke up "is a very difficult one to deal with." He told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that "there are lots of things that cause a plane to go out of control." Read full article »

CNN correspondent John Zarrella in Rio de Janeiro and journalist Brian Byrnes from Buenos Aires contributed to this report.

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