French ship detects deep sea signals from Egyptair crash black box

A French ship has detected signals presumed to have come from a black box of the Egyptair plane that crashed last month in the Mediterranean Sea, investigators said on Wednesday.

The Egypt-led investigation commission said that the signals, picked up by a navy vessel using detectors from the French naval systems company Alseamar, have prompted an intensified search in the area.

A spokesman for French aviation authority BEA confirmed that the sea bed signals were from one of the plane's two flight recorders.

The French ship with BEA investigators on board has been helping with the search for the black boxes of Egyptair flight MS804 that crashed while en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19.

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

Sources at the Cairo-based investigation commission said that the panel would release a report by the end of the month about results of the ongoing inquiry "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 of the airliner taken during its flight from Paris to Cairo, the sources added on condition of anonymity.

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

The Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry has also commissioned another French company, Deep Ocean Search, to send a ship to join the hunt for the black boxes.

The Egyptair 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.

Last update: Wed, 01/06/2016 - 17:37

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