TURKEY EGYPTAIR MISSING PLANE.jpg
Photograph: EPA/CHRISTOPH SCHMIDT

The flight data recorder of the Egyptair passenger jet that crashed last month has been found and recovered from the Mediterranean Sea, a day after the cockpit voice recorder had been retrieved, investigators said Friday.

The black box was retrieved at dawn by a specialized undersea search vessel operated by the Mauritius-based company Deep Sea Search, the Egyptian-led investigative committee said in a statement.

Parts of the black box were gathered in several stages. Most importantly, the ship managed to retrieve the fragment containing the memory unit, the most vital part in the device, the statement added.

The general prosecution was notified of the black box's discovery, ordering it to be delivered to the investigative committee to unload and analyze its data.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry has started unloading the memory unit of the cockpit voice recorder, the first black box retrieved on Thursday, sources on the investigative committee said. 

The memory unit, which contains the conversations between the pilot and co-pilot during the last 30 minutes before the plane crashed, will be analyzed by a special unit at the ministry, the sources said.

They added that results will not be announced to the media before the investigative authorities, including the prosecution, are informed.

Egyptair flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19 when it crashed into the Mediterranean with 66 people on board.

Last month, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said that a terrorist act appeared a more likely cause than mechanical failure.

The crash came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up midair 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 that it said had been filled with explosives and smuggled onto the flight.

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