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EgyptAir Flight 804 with 66 people on board crashes into the Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris to Cairo.

19/05/2016

EgyptAir Flight 804 was a regularly scheduled international passenger flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport, operated by EgyptAir. On 19 May 2016 at 02:33 Egypt Standard Time (UTC+2), the Airbus A320 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 56 passengers, 3 security personnel, and 7 crew members on board.

No mayday call was received by air traffic control, although signals that smoke had been detected in one of the aircraft's lavatories and in the avionics bay were automatically transmitted via ACARS shortly before the aircraft disappeared from radar. The last communications from the aircraft prior to its submersion were two transmissions from its emergency locator transmitter that were received by the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme. The cause of the disaster is under investigation.

Debris from the aircraft was found in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 290 km (180 mi) north of Alexandria. Nearly four weeks after the crash, several main sections of wreckage were identified on the seabed, and both flight recorders were recovered in a multinational search and recovery operation. On 29 June, Egyptian officials announced that the flight data recorder data indicated smoke in the aircraft, and that soot plus damage from high temperatures was found on some of the wreckage from the front section of the aircraft.

In August 2016, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault criticized the fact that no further explanation for the reasons behind the crash had been given. In December 2016, Egyptian officials said traces of explosives were found on the bodies but in May 2017, French officials denied that. On 6 July 2018, France's BEA stated that the most likely hypothesis was a fire in the cockpit that spread rapidly.

A manslaughter investigation was started in France in June 2016; in April 2019 a report commissioned as part of the investigation stated the aircraft was not airworthy: recurring defects had not been reported by the crews, including alerts reporting potential fire hazards.

EgyptAir Flight 804

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Published in 20/05/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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