Monday 5 December 2016

Human remains retrieved from EgyptAir Flight 804 crash site point to explosion on board

Published 24/05/2016 | 10:18

U.S. Navy LT JG Curtis Calabrese takes notes on board of a U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion patrol aircraft from Sigonella, Sicily, Sunday, May 22, 2016, searching the area in the Mediterranean Sea where the Egyptair flight 804 en route from Paris to Cairo went missing on May 19. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
U.S. Navy LT JG Curtis Calabrese takes notes on board of a U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion patrol aircraft from Sigonella, Sicily, Sunday, May 22, 2016, searching the area in the Mediterranean Sea where the Egyptair flight 804 en route from Paris to Cairo went missing on May 19. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

Human remains retrieved from the EgyptAir Flight 804 crash site point to an explosion on board, an Egyptian forensic official has said.

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EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo vanished off radar screens early on Thursday as it entered Egyptian airspace over the Mediterranean. The 10 crew and 56 passengers included 30 Egyptian and 15 French nationals, all believed to be dead.

Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek asked his French counterpart to hand over documents, audio and visual records on the plane during its stay at Charles de Gaulle airport and until it left French airspace, his office said in a statement.

He also asked Greek authorities to hand over transcripts of calls between the pilot and Greek air traffic control officials, and for the officials to be questioned over whether the pilot sent a distress signal.

Egyptian officials say they received no mayday call from the pilots before the plane disappeared.

Greek officials say that controllers chatted with the pilot after the plane entered Greek airspace and that he sounded cheerful.

He thanked them in Greek, they said. When they tried to call him again to hand over to Egyptian air traffic control they got no response. The plane then disappeared from radar.

French investigators say the plane sent a series of warnings indicating that smoke had been detected on board as well as other possible computer faults shortly before it disappeared.

The signals did not indicate what may have caused smoke, and aviation experts have not ruled out either deliberate sabotage or a technical fault.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said all scenarios were possible and that none were being ruled out.

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