France sends fixed EgyptAir black box to Cairo

Cairo, June 29: France's BEA air safety agency sent to Cairo on Tuesday the data file from one of the black boxes from the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean last month, authorities said.

Terrorism has not been ruled out as a cause of the crash on May 19, when the Airbus A320 operating Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo went down killing all 66 people on board.

Cairo to get EgyptAir black box

The two black boxes from the aircraft were retrieved damaged from the bottom of the Mediterranean and sent to Paris, where the electronic board from the flight recorder was repaired yesterday.

The file was "transferred to Cairo for decoding, validating and studying" at the civil aviation ministry, said the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee. The process "might take several days to ensure the accuracy of reading the data recorded," it said in a statement.

The repair work of the cockpit voice recorder, the second black box, had also begun. "A meeting was also held today between the investigation committee members and the accredited French and American representatives to evaluate the work accomplished up till today," said the commission.

Fifteen of the passengers on board the doomed aircraft were from France. It was also carrying 40 Egyptians, two Iraqis, two Canadians and one passenger each from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Investigators in France said the plane transmitted automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin and a fault in the flight control unit minutes before it disappeared.

Their counterparts in Egypt confirmed the aircraft had made a 90-degree left turn followed by a 360-degree turn to the right before hitting the sea. French judges are also investigating the crash.

Prosecutors had previously opened a preliminary investigation -- a normal procedure when French citizens are involved -- and have handed their findings to judges for a "manslaughter" probe.


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