Paris prosecutor opens manslaughter inquiry into EgyptAir crash

Ahmed Abbas
3 Min Read
Online ticket purchases for airlines in Egypt amounts to $1.9bn, out of $11bn in the Arab region. (AFP Photo)

The Paris prosecution opened a manslaughter inquiry on Monday into the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804, saying that there is no evidence of terrorism up until now.

French authorities are not in favour of the theory that the aeroplane was brought down intentionally, according to a prosecution spokesperson. She added that the status of the inquiry would change if the investigations revealed any new facts.

A statement released by the office of Egypt’s public prosecutor Nabil Sadek said that the Egyptian prosecution is cooperating with its French counterpart.

The statement added that labelling the incident as ‘manslaughter’ is only an initial description, based on the data revealed so far. The analysis of the two black boxes has not been completed yet.

The Egyptian investigation committee announced that the aeroplane’s flight data recorder (FDR) memory was successfully fixed at the French air investigation labs on Monday. Experts made sure the data was recovered from the device.

The statement added that the experts will work on fixing the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) on Tuesday before getting back to Cairo. The data will then be analysed in the Egyptian labs.

On 19 May, EgyptAir flight MS804, travelling from Paris to Cairo, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, claiming the lives of all 66 people on board.

The investigation committee’s inspection of the CVR and the FDR began on Sunday, with the assistance of representatives from France and the United States.

Since the aircraft was manufactured in France, French national investigation agency Le Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) is involved in analysing the data. The manufacturer Airbus will also be involved.

The BEA has a lot of experience in the recovery of flight data and has worked with Egypt in the past, both on the Metrojet incident and the Flash Airlines B737 accident.

The analysis cautiously draws upon the expertise of various parties to ensure the investigation is impartial and that the manufacturer, operator, and other stakeholders are kept at a safe distance.


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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for, 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.