Egypt’s general prosecution dismissed on Monday the findings of French investigators, who said a cockpit fire was likely behind the 2016 crash of EgyptAir flight MS804.
The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo on 19 May 2016 when it crashed into the south-eastern Mediterranean, killing 66 people, including 40 Egyptians and 15 French citizens.
In a statement, the prosecution denied the authenticity of “reports about reaching a conclusion of the reason of the crash, which said that it was a fire in the cockpit.” It added that investigations are still ongoing, and that the “fire-in-the-cockpit conclusion” is not based on facts.
Mutual accusations between Egypt and France have taken place, while the former insists 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 a result of a terrorist attack. France said that failures in the regular check-ups on the aeroplane were the cause, an accusation that Egypt has refused.
The Friday report by France’s civil aviation accident agency, Le Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA), challenges the preliminary findings of the Egyptian authorities, who said traces of explosives were found on the victims’ remains, according to AFP.
The prosecution, which released the reply three days after the French statement, stated that the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority’s findings said that traces of explosives were found on some body remains of the victims.
The BEA said the cockpit voice recorder revealed the crew discussing a fire and that the plane’s automatic ACARS messaging system had signaled there was smoke on board.
Moreover, the BEA said it was waiting for Egypt’s final report to understand how the two countries have come to different conclusions.