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EgyptAir crash: Possible black box signals detected

Naval vessel picks up signals presumably from black box of crashed EgyptAir passenger jet, Egypt reports.

French naval vessel Laplace

Story highlights
  • EgyptAir Flight MS804 crashed on May 19
  • Sixty-six people were on board, including 30 Egyptians and 15 from France
  • Only small parts of debris and several body parts were found
  • Flight recorders stop transmitting acoustic signals after about 30 days
  • Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search vessel to help retrieve the devices

Egypt says a French ship has picked up signals from deep in the Mediterranean Sea, presumed to be from the flight recorders of the EgyptAir plane that crashed last month.

The jet vanished from the radar while en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19, killing all 66 passengers and crew on board.

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday cited a statement from the committee investigating the crash as saying the vessel Laplace was the one that received the signals.

Wednesday's statement said a second ship, John Lethbridge affiliated with the Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search firm, would join the search team later this week.

Locator pings

Acoustic signals emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders, collectively known as the "black box", can be picked up from deep underwater.

The search for the EgyptAir Airbus A320 has narrowed to a 5km area in the Mediterranean.

Search teams have been working against the clock to recover the two recorders that will offer vital clues on the fate of flight 804.

Conflicting claims cloud EgyptAir crash cause

The locator pings that help locate them in deep water stop transmitting after about 30 days.

The naval vessel Laplace contains equipment from ALSEAMAR, a subsidiary of French industrial group Alcen, which can pick up flight-recorder pinger signals over long distances up to 5km, according to the company's website.

These are separate from the signals transmitted by the ELT, which sends a radio signal upon impact that is not designed to continue emitting once the plane is submerged underwater, said one of the sources close to the investigation.

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