Saturday 10 December 2016

EgyptAir crash: Investigators say it's too soon for conclusions as flight data seems to 'point towards a bomb'

Published 21/05/2016 | 12:53

Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
This picture posted Saturday, May 21, 2016, on the official Facebook page of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman shows part of the wreckage from EgyptAir flight 804
This picture posted Saturday, May 21, 2016, on the official Facebook page of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman shows part of a plane chair from EgyptAir flight 804

Egyptian investigators looking into the crash of an EgyptAir jet in the Mediterranean said on Saturday they were analysing data including signals sent from the aircraft, but it was too soon to reach any conclusions.

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They said in a statement they were assessing material from air traffic control, aircraft and crew documents, and aircraft data management systems AIRMAN and ACARS, which download maintenance and fault data to an airline operator.

Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday

"It is far too early to make judgments or decisions on a single source of information such as the ACARS messages, which are signals or indicators that may have different causes (and) thus require further analysis," the statement said

Earlier new images emerged of shattered parts of the EgyptAir plane recovered from the crash site in the Mediterranean.

Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday

The Egyptian military released photographs of the debris including fragments of seats, passenger belongings and a life vest featuring the airline's logo as a major search continued.

The development came after reports suggested smoke was detected in parts of the plane before it disappeared from radar and plummeted into the water early on Thursday.

Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday

Read More: EgyptAir crash: Smoke detectors and window sensors triggered before crash

Earlier today, there was confusion whether the black boxes had been found. The Egyptian government sources had told CBS News that they had located the black boxes.

However, a source at the Civil Aviation ministry later denied reports that the black boxes have been found. They told the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that if the black boxes had been found they would notify the public "immediately".

Flight MS804 - carrying 56 passengers including one Briton and 10 crew members from Paris to Cairo - went down about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt's coastline, or around 175 miles offshore, after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Before it disappeared from radar screens around 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT), the plane spun all the way around and suddenly lost altitude.

What caused the Airbus A320 to crash remains a mystery as authorities scramble to recover the aircraft's black boxes.

Read More: Wreckage and body parts found, confirming fate of EgyptAir flight

French air accident investigation agency spokesman Sebastien Barthe told the Associated Press (AP) that the plane's automatic detection system sent messages indicating smoke a few minutes before it disappeared from radar.

The messages "generally mean the start of a fire", he said, but added: "We are drawing no conclusions from this. Everything else is pure conjecture."

Read More: All possibilities being looked at, including terror

Egypt's army spokesman said debris and passenger belongings have been located 180 miles off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt.

Airport officials in Egypt said investigators will inspect the debris and personal belongings that have been recovered.

Egyptian and Russian officials have said the plane may have been brought down by terrorists, and there are no signs of survivors.

Among the passengers was Briton Richard Osman, a 40-year-old father-of-two originally from Carmarthen in Wales, who was described by his younger brother Alastair as a workaholic and a very admirable person who "never deviated from the straight path".

Read More: Those on board doomed Egyptair 804

The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft, the airline said on Twitter.

It tweeted that the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320, and the co-pilot had logged 2,766 hours.

The Egyptian military also released a video of the search operation, showing navy units recovering the items.

As the video pans over the debris, a shoe and a handbag can be seen among the remnants of the aircraft.

Press Association

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