Wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS804, which went missing over the Mediterranean in May, has been discovered, Egyptian authorities say.
The Airbus A320 with 66 people on board vanished from radar while flying from Paris to Cairo.
“The investigation committee said that the John Lethbridge – one of two ships contracted by the Egyptians to hunt for the wreckage – had found ‘several main locations’ on the sea floor between Crete and the Egyptian coast.
A deep-sea search vessel has been dispatched, investigators say, and has sent back images of the wreckage. The search team will use the new information to “draw up a map of the wreckage distribution”,ionternational media reports.
The discovery comes more than two weeks after a second ship, the LaPlace, detected signals sent from flight MS804’s ‘black box’ flight data recorder. Investigators have only about nine more days before its locator beacon runs out of battery.
The EgyptAir plane which crashed into the Mediterranean last month sent several smoke alerts in the 24 hours before it disappeared, it has been claimed.
Three separate warnings were transmitted from the plane to the airline’s base in Cairo during take-off on 18 May.
The airbus A320 disappeared in the early hours of 19 May, travelling overnight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board. It was making its fifth flight of the day and passed all safety and maintenance checks.
“All that sheds light on the crash so far are three minutes of data alerts just before the plane lost control,” says the Times. “The alerts included smoke detected in a lavatory and the aircraft’s electronics bay beneath the flight deck floor.”
EgyptAir has denied the claims, with chairman Safwat Musallam saying there had not been a fault with the plane. “We fully trust the aircraft and pilot,” he said.
Egyptian investigators believe terrorism to be the most likely cause of the crash, a theory that one person within the French investigation says has led to deteriorating relations between the two teams.
“You do not investigate with preconceived technical or political ideas,” the source told Le Parisien.
The new reports come just days after a signal from one of the plane’s black boxes was detected by the French navy in the Mediterranean. French transport minister Alain Vidalies is confident the flight recorders will be recovered within a week.