Cairo: Wreckage from the EgyptAir flight that crashed in May shows "signs of damage because of high temperature" and that a flight data recorder indicates there was smoke on board, Egyptian investigators said on Wednesday.
Data from one of the black boxes of a crashed EgyptAir plane showed smoke alarms had sounded on board, while soot was found on the wreckage.
The black box was retrieved from the bottom of the Mediterranean. It had recorded the flight’s data from its departure until it “stopped at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,250 metres),” an Egyptian investigating committee said in a statement.
The flight from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean on May 19 for reasons that remain unknown. The pilots made no distress call, and no militant group has claimed to have brought down the plane.
The committee said that a recovered flight data recorder, one of the plane's black boxes, showed that there was smoke in the lavatory and onboard equipment. “Recorded data is showing a consistency with ACARS messages of lavatory smoke and avionics smoke,” it said.
The second black box, a cockpit recorder, was damaged in the crash and is being repaired in Paris. The wreckage was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea floor earlier this month. The bulk of the wreckage is believed to be at a depth of about 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).
The committee said deep ocean search teams are still working to find and recover human remains.
French authorities opened a manslaughter inquiry on Monday, but said there is no evidence so far to link the crash to terrorism.
EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared from radar about 2:45 a.m. local time on May 19 between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast.
Radar data showed the aircraft had been cruising normally in clear skies before it turned 90 degrees left, then a full 360 degrees to the right as it plummeted from 38,000 feet (11,582 meters) to 15,000 feet (4,572 meters). It disappeared when it was at an altitude of about 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
(With inputs from AP)