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Cockpit fire probable cause of Egypt Air disaster, experts say

Investigators in France have concluded that a deadly blaze in the cockpit of an Airbus A320 in 2016 caused it to crash into the Mediterranean.

By Nathan Morley

The Egypt Air crash claimed the lives of 66 passengers and crew when it plunged into the sea, not far from the island of Karpathos. The flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport disappeared from radar on May 19th, 2016.

France’s civil aviation accident bureau said vital information gathered from the flight recorders pointed to a fire breaking out “in the cockpit while the plane was at cruising altitude and the fire spread rapidly, causing the loss of control of the aircraft”.

This conclusion contradicts Egyptian investigators, who pointed to explosives being the cause of the disaster.

Initially, the crash of Flight 804 was assumed to be linked to terrorism as it came soon after a Russian passenger jet flying from Sharm el-Sheikh was destroyed by a bomb over the Sinai Peninsula – killing all 224 people on board.

No group claimed to be responsible for the Egypt Air crash.

However, French investigators had long believed a mechanical fault was the cause of the crash, and pointed to the possibility of a mobile phone or computer-tablet catching fire, due to an overheated battery.

Soon after the crash, the airline confirmed that 30 Egyptians, 15 French passengers, two Iraqis, and one passenger from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were on board the doomed flight.

Egypt is yet to publish their final report on the crash.

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07 July 2018, 16:53