EgyptAir voice recorder suggests fire on plane

A recovered cockpit voice recorder suggests that one of the pilots attempted to put out a fire on board of the EgyptAir flight that crashed in the Mediterranean, sources on the investigation committee have revealed.

Data previously extracted from one of the black boxes indicated there had been smoke in the bathroom, and near the avionics. Moreover, soot and high temperature damages have been found on the wreckage of the plane. A distress call was never sent, and this information may suggest that the crew was busy trying to extinguish a fire.

The cause of the crash remains unclear, and investigators are going to conduct further analysis. French authorities have opened an investigation for manslaughter, and they have found no evidence of terrorism so far; the French prosecutor’s office spokeswoman said the inquiry was launched as an accident investigation.

The voice recorder found last month was damaged, and has been repaired in France after the Egyptian authorities failed to download its content.

The Airbus A320 was flying from Paris to Cairo on 19 May when it plunged into the sea. All 66 people on board were killed including 40 Egyptians, 15 French people, and passengers from Britain, Canada, Iraq, Algeria, Belgium, Chad, Sudan, Portugal and Saudi Arabia.

According to Greek authorities, radar data showed that the aircraft had been cruising normally before turning 90 degrees left followed by a 360-degree turn to the right before going down in the sea. However, Egyptian authorities have subsequently expressed doubt on the claims.

Human remains and aircraft’s wreckage have been retrieved by a search vessel earlier this week, and brought to Egypt where forensic authorities will carry out DNA tests.

by Selin Yasar