EgyptAir crash: Officials dispute explosion claims

Egyptian officials have disputed a claim that the condition of human remains found at the crash site of an EgyptAir plane suggests an explosion.

An unnamed forensic examiner quoted by the Associated Press said the remains were so small an explosion was the only “logical” explanation.

But an Egyptian justice ministry spokesman told the BBC no traces of explosives had been found.

All 66 people onboard were killed when Flight MS804 crashed last Thursday.

An independent aviation safety expert told the BBC that the condition of the remains could be the result of several scenarios.

Officials from EgyptAir have said they will not speculate on the reports.

The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo when it vanished from radar early on Thursday.

Meanwhile Egyptian air officials have given a different account of the last moments of the plan’s flight.

Greece’s defence minister Panos Kammenos has said that military radar showed the Airbus A320 making two sharp turns and dropping more than 25,000ft (7,620m) before plunging into the Mediterranean Sea.

But Egyptian officials said on Tuesday they did not observe the doomed EgyptAir flight swerve and change direction before it disappeared.

Ehab Azmy, the head of Egypt’s state-run provider of air navigation services, told the Associated Press that the plane had been flying at its normal height of 37,000ft (11,280m) before dropping off the radar.

“That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar,” he said.

“There was no turning to the right or left, and it was fine when it entered Egypt’s FIR [flight information region], which took nearly a minute or two before it disappeared.”

Neither EgyptAir nor Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation have commented on the plane’s final movements.

The reason for the discrepancy between the Greek and the Egyptian aviation official’s accounts of the crash is not clear.

Greek aviation officials have said air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot when he entered Greek airspace and everything appeared normal.

They tried to contact him again at 02:27 Cairo time, as the plane was set to enter Egyptian airspace, but “despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond”.

Last week, the Aviation Herald reported that smoke detectors went off in the plane’s toilet and the aircraft’s electrics three minutes before it disappeared.


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