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EgyptAir flight MS804: French investigators says fire likely cause

10 July 2018

In rare criticism of another country's crash probe, the French BEA air accident investigation agency said last week that Egyptian authorities had apparently not followed up on its calls to further investigate the crash that killed 66 people and that a cockpit fire was the "most likely" reason for the incident.

French investigators had always leaned towards a mechanical fault as the cause of the crash, saying they suspected a mobile phone or tablet on the aircraft had caught fire. Three of those on board were children, including one infant, and three of the crewmembers were security personnel.

We will remind, the liner A320, a flight from Paris to Cairo, disappeared from radar screens over the Eastern part of the Mediterranean sea on 19 may 2016.

An official at Egypt's aviation ministry, who asked to remain anonymous, said the public prosecutor was still investigating and was responsible for the case because of the potential for criminal charges.

Twelve of those killed in the May 2016 crash were French nationals.

An official Egyptian investigation suggested the plane had been bombed, claiming traces of explosives had been found on the victims' remains.

The EgyptAir MS804 accident came only seven months an Airbus A321 operated by the Russian airline Metrojet was shot down by a bomb over the Sinai Peninsula shortly after it flew out of the Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

It noted the flight recorders stopped operating while the aircraft was at cruise altitude of 37,000 ft, the aircraft's reporting system sent a message indicating smoke in the toilets and avionics bay and the flight data recorder confirms the message.

In its statement, the French agency cited its "difference of opinion" with the Egyptian conclusions based on evidence collected so far, including the BEA's advanced fix work on flight recorders found in the Mediterranean depths.

EgyptAir flight MS804: French investigators says fire likely cause