French vessel detects signal believed to be from crashed EgyptAir plane
Courtesy: EgyptAir

The French naval vessel Laplace, which joined the search for remains of the crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 last week, reported signals believed to be from the plane’s black boxes, Egypt’s Ministry of Aviation announced on Wednesday.

A second ship, John Lethbridge, affiliated with the Deep Ocean Search firm, will reportedly join the search team later this week to extract the black boxes, the ministry added.

The French ship Laplace joined search efforts last week, after Egyptian authorities requested technical assistance from France in locating the black boxes, which it is hoped will contain flight data and voice recorders from the cockpit to help shed light on what happened to the aircraft.

French, Egyptian and Greek authorities continue to investigate the circumstances in which flight MS804, en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19 with 66 people on board, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Investigators are yet to determine whether it was caused by a technical failure or an act of terrorism.

EgyptAir also canceled a flight scheduled to leave Cairo Tuesday evening for Bangkok after a three hour delay as a result of a false bomb alert, the company announced in a statement early on Wednesday.

The flight, which was scheduled to depart at 10.30 pm Tuesday evening, was initially delayed following a security alert and then canceled after repeated security checks. EgyptAir offered the 226 passengers accomodation for the night in a hotel near the airport. 

Another aviation catastrophe in October cast doubt on Egypt’s ability to secure its airports and dealt another blow to the nation’s struggling tourism industry. A Russian passenger plane carrying 217 passengers crashed shortly after takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport. Egyptian authorities initially rejected claims by Russian authorities that the crash was an act of terrorism, but President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi conceded the connection in a February speech.


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