Egypt’s general prosecutor Nabil Sadek has ordered the High State Security Prosecution on Saturday to hand over the remains of victims from the EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in May to their families.
Sadek also ordered for foreign embassies to coordinate in order to hand over the remains of foreign nationals who perished in the flight to their families abroad. In response to Sadek’s decision, the French foreign ministry issued a statement, saying that they hope the decision will be implemented as soon as possible.
France had requested the handover of the victims’ remains from Egypt several times since the flight crashed after the technical and medical tests were completed; however, Egypt’s continued to postpone the process. Fifteen out of the 56 passengers, who were all killed in the crash, were French nationals.
The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Thursday that traces of explosives were found in the remains of the victims. However, France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) air crash investigation agency said in response that conclusions regarding the cause of the crash cannot be drawn.
Egypt had insisted that the crash happened as a result of a lack of security measures at France’s Charles de Gaulle airport, implying that the crash was caused by a terrorist attack. France said that there were no regular check-ups on the aeroplane, which resulted in the crash. However, Egypt refused France’s accusation.
The possibility that explosives brought down the aeroplane was first raised by France, when French newspaper Le Figaro said that French investigators found TNT traces in the aeroplane’s debris. The newspaper reported that the investigation team was prevented from carrying out further tests following the discovery.
On 19 May, the EgyptAir flight crashed into the Mediterranean Sea while en route from Paris to Cairo, killing all 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board. The flight disappeared from Greek and Egyptian radars while flying over the Mediterranean, emitting no signals. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility.