French Prosecutor Opens Manslaughter Investigation into EgyptAir MS804 Crash

French Prosecutor Opens Manslaughter Investigation into EgyptAir MS804 Crash

People light candles during a candlelight vigil for the victims of EgyptAir flight 804, at the Cairo Opera house in Cairo, Egypt May 26, 2016. REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY
People light candles during a candlelight vigil for the victims of EgyptAir flight 804, at the Cairo Opera house in Cairo, Egypt May 26, 2016.

France launched a manslaughter investigation into the crash of EgyptAir MS804 on Monday, hours after Egyptian investigators announced one of the two damaged black boxes from the flight had successfully been repaired in Paris, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, the prosecutor is currently not investigating the plane crash as a potential terrorist attack. However, that could change if further evidence emerges suggesting the plane was shot down deliberately, the Associated Press quoted the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office as saying.

Meanwhile, Egyptian investigators said earlier on Monday that French agency BEA have successfully repaired the flight data recorder and will begin working on the cockpit voice recorder “within hours.”

Egypt decided to send the two recorders to BEA, a French government agency that specializes in investigating aviation accidents, to “carry out repair and removal of salt accumulations” on the damaged black boxes, after which they will be sent back to Egypt for data analysis.

Search vessels located the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, both of which were damaged, earlier this month after having found the main locations of the plane’s wreckage in the Mediterranean.

Data extracted from the cockpit voice recorder will allow investigators to hear what the pilot and co-pilot were saying in the moments before the airplane crashed, and should include any background noise.

Meanwhile, the second black box, containing the flight data recorder, will provide additional data that may allow investigators to determine the cause of the crash.

Flight MS804 vanished at 2:30AM Cairo time on May 19. The passenger plane was carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo and ”vanished” moments after entering Egyptian airspace. Terrorism and mechanical failure are among the possibilities being explored by the Egyptian investigative committee.

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