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EgyptAir wreckage

EgyptAir crash “caused by cockpit fire”

France’s investigation agency contradicts Egyptian claims that a bomb was the cause of the May 2016 tragedy.

The crash of an EgyptAir aircraft over the eastern Mediterranean in May 2016, killing all 66 people on board, was probably caused by a cockpit fire, French investigators say.

The findings of the BEA air accident investigation agency go against those of the authorities in Egypt, who blame the tragedy on an alleged bombing. Twelve of those killed were French nationals.

France claims that the Egyptians have not followed up on their calls for further investigations, the news agency Reuters reports.

Egyptian officials say that traces of explosives were found on bodies retrieved from the wreckage of Flight MS804.

Such a public commentary by the French on conflicting explanations for an accident from authorities in two countries hints at serious divergences between the teams in Paris to Cairo, Reuters says.

Fire onboard
“The BEA’s proposals concerning further work on the debris and recorded data were not, as far as the BEA knows, followed up,” a French statement says.

“The technical elements of the investigation already collected by Egypt, including those provided by the BEA, are protected by the Egyptian judicial investigation.”

It adds: “The BEA considers that the most likely hypothesis is that a fire broke out in the cockpit while the aircraft was flying at its cruise altitude and that the fire spread rapidly resulting in the loss of control of the plane.”

Egyptian investigators have not yet published their final report, and the French side says it remains ready to resume work with the Egyptian authorities. International regulations state that a report should come out within a year of a crash.

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