The flight path of EgyptAir flight MS804 as seen on flight tracking site Flightradar24.com- Reuters/ File Photo
CAIRO – 7 July 2018: French investigators said a fire, not a bomb, could be behind the crash of an EgyptAir MS804 plane flying from Paris to Cairo that claimed the lives of 66 persons on May 19, 2016. The French story contradicts Egypt’s official preliminary indications claiming the crash was caused by a terror act.
“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 MS804 Story
EgyptAir’s official Twitter account announced that flight 804 traveling from Paris to Cairo had disappeared with 56 passengers and 10 crewmembers on board. Three of those on board were children, including one infant, and three of the crewmembers were security personnel.
The MS804 flight travelling from Paris to Cairo carried 40 Egyptians, 15 French people, two Iraqis, two Canadians and one passenger from each of Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The Egyptian Presidency mourned the victims in an official statement, expressing its “deepest condolences to the victims from various countries who lost their lives in this tragic incident.”
In a press conference on the day of the crash, Egypt’s civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy said a terrorist attack was most likely behind the crash. The chances of an attack were “higher than the possibility of a technical [failure].”
On May 21, the Egyptian Military announced on his official Facebook account finding the remains and wreckage of the plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea. He posted photos of the plane’s remains.
EgyptAir MS804 remains as published by the Military Spokesperson Tamer El-Refaie on Facebook
On May 25, 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received a delegation from the French National Assembly and offered his condolences to the French victims onboard the EgyptAir MS804. Sisi stressed the importance of increasing Egyptian-French efforts to reveal the circumstances pertaining to the incident.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (R) and head of the French National Assembly Philippe Folliot (L) in Cairo on May 25, 2016- Press Photo
On December 15, 2016, Egypt's Aviation Ministry announced that traces of explosives had been found on victims' remains, adding that a criminal investigation would begin.
The EgyptAir MS804 accident came only seven months an Airbus A321 operated by the Russian airline Metrojet was shot down by a bomb over the Sinai Peninsula shortly after it flew out of the Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. Terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the crash.
No group had claimed responsibility for the MS804 crash; however, Egyptian officials had stated that terrorism was the most likely cause.
The black box, retrieved from the crash site by a specialist diving vessel, also confirmed that smoke alarms where triggered onboard, while recovered wreckage had indications of soot, the Egyptian Aviation Ministry stated in a statement in December 2016.
The word “fire” was audible on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder shortly before it crashed, the Egyptian investigative committee said in July, according to British newspaper the Guardian.