Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Fire likely cause of 2016 EgyptAir crash: probe

Fire likely cause of 2016 EgyptAir crash: probe

"A fire broke out in the cockpit while the plane was at cruising at high altitude and the fire spread rapidly, causing the aircraft to lose control", said France's civil aviation accident bureau (BEA) on Friday, according to France Press Agency.

Egyptair flight MS-804 plunged into the Mediterranean about 130kms north of the Egyptian city of Alexandria on May 19, 2016, with 56 passengers and 10 crew on board.

It is unusual that investigators from the country that is not leading the investigation would publicly comment on it.

"Reports on news sites suggesting that the cause of the crash was a fire inside the cockpit have no basis", the statement said, in an apparent reference to the BEA statement.

The BEA made an earlier call for further work to be done on the debris and flight recorder data but it said that this had not happened as far as it was aware. In this meeting, the Egyptian authorities explained that as it had been determined that there had been a malicious act, the investigation now fell within the sole jurisdiction of the judicial authorities.

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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.

It noted that Egyptian investigators had not published their final report, adding that the BEA was ready to resume work with Egyptian authorities if they were to resume work on the probe.

Egyptian officials previously said that the crash - which came seven months after a Russian plane was brought down by a bomb over the Sinai peninsula - was likely to have been a terrorist incident.

French investigators and the families of the French victims have deplored a lack of cooperation from the Egyptian authorities.

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