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Investigators: EgyptAir Black Box Confirms Smoke on Board | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An EgyptAir plane taxis on the tarmac of an airport. Reuters.

Cairo-Egyptian investigators announced on Wednesday that data from one of the black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean in May showed smoke alarms had sounded on board.

The Egyptian-led investigative committee said soot was found on the wreckage.

The black box was retrieved from the bottom of the Mediterranean mid-June after the Airbus A320 with 66 people on board, including 40 Egyptians and 15 French, plunged into the sea on May 19 while heading to Cairo from Paris.

Among the dead Egyptians, 30 were passengers while the other 10 were crew members.

It had recorded the flight’s data from its departure until it “stopped at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,250 meters),” the committee said in a statement.

“Recorded data is showing a consistency with ACARS messages of lavatory smoke and avionics smoke,” it said, two days after the damaged recorder was repaired in France.

Investigators had previously announced that the plane’s automated Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) sent signals indicating smoke alarms on board the plane before it went down.

“Parts of the front section of the aircraft showed signs of high temperature damage and soot,” the committee statement added.

Egyptian investigators had confirmed that the aircraft had made a 90-degree left turn followed by a 360-degree turn to the right before hitting the sea.

The repair work of the cockpit voice recorder, the second black box, was underway at the France’s BEA air safety agency.

The device had been found broken into pieces but salvage experts managed to retrieve the recorder’s memory unit, Egypt’s civil aviation ministry had said.

The committee statement said the search remained for the remains of the passengers and crew.
It “will continue till the full recovery of all the remains at the crash location,” it said.