EgyptAir flight MS804 at sea off the Egyptian coast, north of Alexandria.jpg
Photograph: EPA/EGYPTIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY

Signals likely emanating from a black box that was on Egyptair MS804 before it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month have been detected, investigators said on Wednesday.

A specially equipped French vessel from the company Alseamar searching for the plane's two black boxes has received signals from the sea bed believed to be from one of the flight’s data recorders, the Egypt-led investigative committee said in a statement.

Meanwhile, sources at the investigative committee said that a report will be released before the end of the month that entails the investigation results “even if the black boxes are not located by that time.”

A French team and a Greek investigator will take part in drafting the report based on the available findings, such as radar readings and images recorded of the flight movements throughout its trip from Paris to Cairo.

The Airbus A320 with 66 people on board vanished on May 19, shortly after leaving Greek airspace en route from Paris to Cairo.

Searchers are racing against time to recover the flight's two black boxes - the cockpit voice and data recorders - which would help shine light on what caused the plane to plunge into the sea.

The Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry have also commissioned another French company, Deep Ocean Search, to send a ship to join the hunt for the black boxes. New devices with a capability of receiving signals and sonar scanning will be part of the search process in the crash site, which is at a depth of 3,000 metres in the Mediterranean sea.

The Egyptair flight crash came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up in mid-air shortly after take-off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian authorities said that the incident was caused by a bomb. The Islamic State extremist group, which operates in Sinai, claimed responsibility and published a photograph of a soft drink can which it said had been filled with explosives and smuggled onto the flight.

Egyptian authorities are still investigating that incident.

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