(Cairo, June 16) The cockpit voice recorder of the Egyptair passenger jet that crashed in May had been found and recovered from the Mediterranean Sea, investigators said on Thursday.
The cockpit recorder had been damaged, but the part containing recordings was intact, the Egypt-led investigation committee said in a statement.
The recorder, one of two black boxes on Egyptair’s ill-fated flight MS804, was recovered in several stages and first located by a specialised undersea search ship operated by the Mauritius-based company Deep Sea Search.
“The ship equipment managed to recover the part of the recorder that contains the memory unit, which is the most important part of the recorder,’’ the statement said.
According to the committee, the recorder is being transferred to Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria, where it will be handed over to investigators for analysis.
The remaining black box, the flight data recorders have not yet been found, but are critical in determining the cause of the crash.
Earlier this week, the investigation committee said both boxes are expected to continue emitting signals until June 24.
EgyptAir flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19 when it crashed into the Mediterranean with 66 people on board.
Wreckage from the plane was pinpointed on Wednesday, as investigators had seen photographs from one of the locations.
The investigation committee had earlier confirmed reports from Greek authorities that the plane swerved to the left and then spun around rightwards in a circle immediately before crashing.
However, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said that terrorists’ action appeared a more likely cause than a mechanical failure.
The crash came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up 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 had claimed 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 plane.