FRENCH investigators have reported that smoke was detected in a bathroom near the cockpit of downed EgyptAir flight MS804 minutes before it disappeared from radars.
Soon after entering Egpytian air space, the Airbus A320’s systems sent automatic smoke alerts to ground systems, French Bureau of Investigations and Analysis sources confirmed.
“The plane indicated there was smoke in the cabin shortly before data transmission broke off,” a spokesman explained, adding that these messages usually indicate a fire has broken out on board.
However the French agency said it was too soon to pinpoint the cause of the accident and stressed that wreckage and black boxes would have to be analysed to determine this.
So far search crews have found luggage, seats and human remains in the Mediterranean Sea and the hunt for large pieces of wreckage and the flight data recorders continues.
Egyptian authorities meanwhile continue to believe the tragic incident was more likely to have been caused by an act of terrorism than equipment failure, yet so far no groups have claimed responsibility.
Flight MS804 disappeared in the early hours of Thursday May 19 with 66 people on board.