23 MAY 2016
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Egypt sent a submarine to the Egyptair crash site last night (Sunday) as efforts intensified to locate the A320’s two black boxes, thought to be several thousand metres down in the Mediterranean.
At the same time, and despite officials saying previously terrorism was the most likely cause of the disaster, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al Sisi said nothing had so far been ruled out.
“All the theories are possible,” he added. “There is no particular theory we can affirm right now.”
French investigators at the weekend said smoke was detected in a toilet close to the cockpit of MS804 moments before the aircraft disappeared and warning messages were sent automatically by the A320’s computer systems to ground stations.
“There were ... messages emitted indicating there was smoke in the cabin shortly before data transmission broke off,” an official told reporters. Such messages, he added, “generally mean the start of a fire”.
MS804 was on a passenger night flight from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from radar just 20min short of its 4hr journey.
It was carrying 56 passengers including British geologist Richard Osman, plus 10 crew. The 13-year-old aircraft, which had completed about 48,000 air miles, was flying at 37,000ft. See COMMENT in this issue. www.egyptair.com
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