Egypt says debris, human remains from flight MS804 found

Egypt says more debris from the crashed EgyptAir jet was retrieved along with passenger belongings and human remains.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Egyptian military taking part in a search mission in the Mediterranean Sea for the remains of an EgyptAir plane, on May 20, 2016.

Egypt said on Friday its navy had found human remains, wreckage and the personal belongings of passengers floating in the Mediterranean, confirming that an EgyptAir jet plunged into the sea with 66 people on board.

The navy said it had found the debris around 290 kilometres north of the coastal city of Alexandria and was scouring the area in search of the plane's black box.

"The Egyptian Navy was able to retrieve more debris from the plane, some of the passengers' belongings, human remains, and plane seats," the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Greece's defence minister said Greek authorities have received notification that Egyptian authorities had spotted a body part, two seats and suitcases during their search in the Mediterranean Sea for the crashed EgyptAir Flight 804.

Minister Panos Kammenos said that the items were found in the search area slightly to the south of where the aircraft had vanished from radar early Thursday.

He said the location was slightly north of where some debris had been found on Thursday afternoon but authorities were unable to identify the debris as having come from the missing aircraft.

President Adbel Fattah al Sisi offered condolences to the loved ones of those on board, which is being seen as Cairo's official confirmation of passengers’ death.

EgyptAir flight path for MS804.

On Friday the search intensified for the jetliner that went missing over the Mediterranean with 66 people on board (56 passengers and 10 cabin crew members) in the early hours of Thursday.

Three French investigators and a technical expert from Airbus arrived in Cairo on Friday morning to take part in the ongoing investigation into the fate of the missing plane, airport sources said. 

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Thursday that it was too early to comment on the cause of the disaster. The country's aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely than a technical failure.

However, officials from a number of US agencies told Reuters that a US review of satellite imagery so far had not produced any signs of an explosion. They said the United States had not ruled out any possible causes for the crash, including mechanical failure, terrorism or a deliberate act by the pilot or crew.

Earlier, there was confusion over the discovery of possible debris, with Egyptian officials initially saying Greek authorities had found "floating material" and life jackets likely to be from the plane.

TRTWorld, Reuters