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Reading an article on NHK, it starts with this sentence about the missing Algerian plane. The French foreign minister says that it probably crashed in northern Mali:

西アフリカのブルキナファソからアルジェリアに向かう途中消息を絶ったアルジェリア航空の旅客機について、最も多くの乗客が乗っていたフランスのファビウス外相は、2つの国の間に位置するマリの北部で墜落したという見方を示しました

The part I'm confused about is this:

最も多くの乗客が乗っていた

This seems to mean that "most passengers were on board" when the plane crashed. Is that what it means? Where else would they be?

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The correct answer has already been given by @snailboat, so I am only making a comment about an interesting feature of this sentence that I wonder you have noticed. It contains 3 big relative clauses, without which we will only be left with 「について」,「は」 and 「を示しました」, which shows us exactly the structure of the sentence. "Regarding A, Person B expressed Thought C." Kinda neat, no? –  非回答者 Jul 25 at 0:49
    
That is pretty interesting. –  Colm Prunty Jul 25 at 9:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's a relative clause. You need to look at it with the following head noun:

最も多くの乗客が乗っていたフランス
'France, which had the most passengers on board'

France had more passengers on board than other nations.

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Ahh, thank you, I took that France bit as a separate phrase like フランスのファビウス外相はjust meant "French foreign minister", didn't realise the France was connected to what came before it. –  Colm Prunty Jul 25 at 9:06

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