Smoke was detected inside an EgyptAir plane shortly before it plunged into the Mediterranean with 66 people on board, investigators said on Saturday, offering clues but no answers about why it crashed
Smoke was detected inside an EgyptAir plane shortly before it plunged into the Mediterranean with 66 people on board, investigators said on Saturday, offering clues but no answers about why it crashed. The Airbus A320 had been flying from Paris to Cairo early Thursday when it plummeted and turned full circle before vanishing from radar screens, without its crew sending a distress signal.
Egypt’s military released pictures of wreckage recovered so far, including a pink bag decorated with butterflies, a life vest, shredded seat covers and mangled debris showing the EgyptAir name. France’s aviation safety agency said Flight MS804 had transmitted automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin as the disaster unfolded. While the information may help investigators, more wreckage including the black boxes will need to be found before they can piece together what happened. “There were ACARS messages emitted by the plane indicating that there was smoke in the cabin shortly before data transmission broke off,” a spokesman for France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis said. It was “far too soon to interpret and understand the cause of the accident as long as we have not found the wreckage or the flight data recorders,” he said.
ACARS transmits short messages between aircraft and ground stations. Search teams were scouring the eastern Mediterranean on Saturday for more parts of the plane and the black boxes. While Egypt’s aviation minister has pointed to terrorism as more likely than technical failure, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Saturday that nothing was being ruled out.
“At this time, all theories are being examined and none is favoured,” he said.