The search zone for the crashed EgyptAir Flight 804 has been narrowed to 1.24 miles from 3.1 miles after a French ship picked up signals from one of jet's black boxes, an Egyptian source from the investigative committee told Reuters. The Airbus A320 carrying 66 people went down in the Mediterranean Sea on May 19 killing all aboard.
Although investigators said their main goal is to find the bodies of the victims, they are also searching for the black boxes because batteries of flight recorders last only about a month. Black boxes contain crucial data and recordings that could explain the cause of the tragic end of the EgyptAir flight. French Transport Minister Alain Vidalies said Thursday it would take about eight days before the flight recorder is found.
Meanwhile, EgyptAir Chairman Safwat Musallam dismissed French media reports that the ill-fated plane had sent a series of technical alerts during flights to Asmara in Eritrea and Tunis in the 24 hours prior its disappearance.
“For me it’s not true,” Musallam said, according to Reuters. He added that the aircraft did not have maintenance issues before departure and the plane was “normal.”
“We fully trust the aircraft and the pilot,” Musallam reportedly said.
Vidalies said he could not confirm reports by newspaper Le Parisien and France 3 TV that the plane transmitted warnings indicating smoke through the automatic Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) on previous flights.
“We have ... a sudden event which could point towards an attack. On the other hand we have other information which points more towards an accident,” Vidalies told France Info radio.
Cairo-bound Flight 804, which took off from Paris, disappeared from radar shortly after it entered Egyptian airspace. The plane reportedly swerved before crashing into the sea. Investigators have found over 80 pieces of human remains, some of which had burn marks indicating that the crash was likely caused by an explosion. Investigators have not ruled out any possibilities, including terrorism.