TNT traces reportedly found in debris of downed EgyptAir flight MS804: Le Figaro

Daily News Egypt
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The French investigation team assigned to detect reasons behind the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 claimed it has found traces of TNT (trinitrotoluene) in the aeroplane’s debris.

Following the discovery of TNT, the Egyptian investigation team prohibited its French counterparts from continuing its detailed check of the debris, French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Friday.

On 19 May, EgyptAir flight MS804, flying from Paris to Cairo, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 66 passengers and crew members on board, including 40 Egyptians and 15 French. The flight had disappeared from the Egyptian and Greek radars with no distress signal emitted from the plane. Investigations into the aeroplane crash continue until today.

Le Figaro asserted in its report that investigators from the French Criminal Investigative Institute found traces of TNT in the debris of the crashed aeroplane last week. The newspaper said that the TNT discovery led to a dispute between Egyptian and French authorities.

The newspaper noted that the source of the TNT substance found on the debris is still unknown and that the French investigators were prevented from carrying out further tests or observations on the debris following their discovery.

In response to Le Figaro’s report, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s media office manager, Bassem Sami, denied on Saturday that his ministry had received any technical reports from the Egyptian prosecution until now about traces of TNT on EgyptAir flight MS804’s debris.

He moreover stressed in media statements that the Egyptian investigation committee did not receive reports that any traces of TNT were found on the debris, noting that the committee is continuing its work to reveal the facts regarding the downing of the aeroplane.

Similarly, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported three days ago that a bomb that allegedly caused the crash of Russian aeroplane Metrojet A321 in Sinai was placed in the back of the plane by “terrorists”.

Two weeks after the crash, which took place in October 2015 and killed all 224 on board, the Islamic State (IS) claimed to have used a drink-can bomb to bring down the plane. The Russian government had later confirmed that the crash was due to a terrorist attack. However, the Egyptian government is conducting ongoing investigations to reveal the initial location of the explosion.

Kommersant said that the bomb was put in the back of the plane, where children’s carts are kept. The explosion led to the separation of the tail from the body, leading to the crash. The newspaper cited the same group of international experts that claim that most probably an employee from the Egyptian airport participated in the act.

The committee, which is supervised by the Egyptian Aviation Ministry, has not released a statement on the claims.


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