18 parts of crashed EgyptAir aeroplane to be sent to criminal investigation labs

Ahmed Abbas
5 Min Read

The Egyptian investigation team said that eighteen parts of the crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 will be sent to criminal investigation labs in Cairo.

The Egyptian investigation team said in a statement released Tuesday that the Egyptian Navy, along with the French navy, is still searching for more debris in the Mediterranean, and some members of the team are attending the search operations.

“The Egyptian investigation team, along with the French team, are now studying all the different aspects of the investigation and the priority is to search for more victims and identify the location of the black box,” the statement read.

The Associated Press cited an anonymous forensic source as saying that the human remains of the victims may indicate that an explosion took place onboard.

However, the head of the Egyptian forensic medicine department Hesham Abd El-Hameed denied those reports. Abd El-Hameed told state-run  MENA that none of his experts have declared anything related to the accident.

Twenty-three body bags containing the remains of victims from EgyptAir flight MS804 arrived at Zenhom mortuary on Monday.

The parts recovered are very small and identifying them, or even which part of the body they came from, has proved to be difficult.

A team of forensic experts arrived at a hotel near Cairo airport where the relatives of the victims are staying to collect DNA samples in order to identify the remains, EgyptAir said in an official statement.

The EgyptAir aeroplane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in the early hours of Thursday morning, claiming the lives of all 66 people onboard.

The search to find the aeroplane’s black box is still ongoing. This find may play an important role in identifying the reasons behind the crash.

Experts have only 30 days to find the black box before its battery dies, thus preventing it from emitting signals.

During a meeting Tuesday with French parliament members in Cairo, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that both countries must cooperate to reveal the reasons behind the incident.

Air accident investigator Hani Galal told local TV that investigators will analyse the black box if it is found intact.

The head of Egypt’s National Navigation Services Company Ehab Mohy El-Deen said that Egyptian officials managed to track the aeroplane for one minute before its crash, but they could not communicate with its crew.

According to Mohy El-Deen, the aeroplane did not make any sharp turns before its fall as the Greek side announced earlier.

Greek defence minister Panos Kammenos had announced earlier that the aeroplane made two sharp turns before it plummeted into the ocean.

On Saturday, the French Air Accident Investigation Agency said that there was evidence that smoke had been detected in the aeroplane prior to it going off radar.

Leaked Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) messages from the aeroplane indicated there was smoke detected in the lavatory and a sudden increase in temperature near the cockpit window, according to the Aviation Herald, which says it received this information through three independent channels.

ACARS is used to monitor specific systems in commercial aircraft.  These discrete messages are used to validate the health of a variety of critical systems.  The systems that ACARS monitors vary from carrier to carrier and aircraft to aircraft.

A report cited by the Associated Press said that the aeroplane made an emergency landing in 2013 due to engine overheating.

The Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek requested that Greek and French authorities hand over recordings related to the crashed aeroplane to the Egyptian prosecution.

According to an official statement released by the Egyptian prosecution, Sadek asked for the recording between the aeroplane and French air traffic control.


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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for Correspondents.org, and interned as a broadcast journalist at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Abbas is a fellow of Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. He holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and New Media from Jordan Media Institute. He was awarded by the ICFJ for best public service reporting in 2013, and by the German foreign office for best feature in 2014.
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