Photos depicting debris from the crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 were published by the Egyptian Armed Forces on Saturday, offering some of the first pieces of evidence from Thursday’s aeroplane crash.
The photos depict torn life jackets, seats, and damaged parts and scrap metal from the downed aeroplane, the search for which is still ongoing, according to the Armed Forces.
CBS News on Saturday quoted anonymous sources from the Egyptian government as saying that search teams had located the aeroplane’s black box data recorders that would be able to paint a bigger picture as to what may have caused the aeroplane to plummet from the sky. CBS reported that the black box was located near an area where human remains and wreckage had been found.
The Egyptian government, however, has not yet publically announced the discovery of the data recorders.
The EgyptAir flight, which was flying from Paris to Cairo, disappeared during the early hours of Thursday morning over the Mediterranean Sea. The Egyptian Armed Forces announced Friday that parts of the aircraft had been located 290km from the Alexandria coastline.
On Saturday, the French Air Accident Investigation Agency said that there was evidence smoke had been detected in the aeroplane prior to it going off radar. According to the AP, smoke had been detected in the lavatory, located within close proximity to the electronics and engineering bay, reported the aviation Herald. The allegation has thus far been denied by Egyptian authorities, who spoke anonymously to AP.
While pieces of the puzzle remain missing as investigations into the aeroplane crash continue, two working theories have emerged as the most likely scenarios that could have brought flight MS804 down.
Aviation experts have not shied away from the possibility that terrorism could be the reason behind the plane crash, as both France and Egypt have fallen victim to terrorist attacks in recent months. The plane’s quick decent from 37,000 feet in the area without any distress signal sent out could suggest that an explosion took the aeroplane down.
As previously mentioned, reports that a fire broke out in the lavatory have also given rise to a second theory for what could have brought the aeroplane down. Aviation experts have suggested that if a fire had occurred onboard, the pilots would have acted first to control the aircraft, which would explain why no distress signal was sent out.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a press conference that France will continue cooperating with Egypt amid ongoing investigations into the aeroplane crash. Ayrault said French marine and naval forces are ready to assist Egyptian troops in the search.
Ayrault also met and discussed the latest updates of the search with families of the victims, adding that all possible reasons of the crash are being looked into and investigated.
On Saturday, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali, and other EgyptAir officials met with families of the victims and expressed their condolences for their loss. The presidency and the government also promised to give “assistance” to the families who lost loved ones in the crash, although the definition of what that assistance may be was not clearly defined.
State institutions, including Parliament, governmental ministries, Al-Azhar, and the Coptic Church, also extended their condolences and mourned the crash victims.
As Friday prayers began the day following the incident, sermons commemorated the loss of 66 passengers and crew onboard the flight.