Egypt prolongs vessel's search of MS804 crash site

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Jul 2016

EgyptAir MS804
Recovered debris of the EgyptAir jet that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea is seen in this handout image released May 21, 2016 (Photo: Courtesy of The official page of the Egyptian armed forces spokesperson

Egyptian investigators say the search vessel contracted by the Egyptian government to recover debris of the crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 will extend its search in the Mediterranean for another week.

The John Lethbridge, belonging to Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search, will continue scouring  deep waters off the coast of Alexandria to ensure all human remains at the crash site of the Airbus A320 are recovered, Egypt's aircraft accident investigation committee said in a statement late on Saturday.

"The vessel will continue to search for human remains for an additional period that ends on 18 July," the statement said.

Coroners will be on board the ship to hand over any remains to the country's forensic medicine authority for investigation when the search concludes, the committee added.

The Airbus A320 plunged into the eastern Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19, with all 66 people on board killed. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

Investigators have started analysing one of the aircraft's flight data recorders and are extracting information from the other.

Initial analysis of the jet's flight data recorder showed there had been smoke in the lavatory and avionics compartment, and recovered debris from the plane's front section showed signs of high temperature damage, the first physical signs that fire may have broken out on board.

Officials say no explanation for the disaster has been ruled out.

The Paris prosecutor's office opened a manslaughter inquiry last week, saying there is no evidence so far to link the crash to terrorism.

France and the United States are also taking part in the investigations.

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