'Fire' heard in cockpit of doomed EgyptAir Flight MS804, questions remain

By Yvette C. Hammett  |  Updated July 19, 2016 at 6:43 AM
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KAIRO, Egypt, July 17 (UPI) -- The word "fire" was clearly audible on the EgyptAir Flight MS804 cockpit voice recorder before the plane crashed nearly two months ago, Egyptian officials say.

But safety experts say there are still no clear answers on what happened on the jet.

Data taken from the airplane's black boxes has provided no conclusive information as to where the fire may have been or why it spread so quickly that it overwhelmed the crew and took out electronic circuits that may have affected the black boxes, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This new information supports evidence of smoke in the cabin, also gleaned from the flight recorder, BBC reported.

Wreckage from the crash scene also showed signs of high temperature damage and soot was found on the front section of the A-320.

Everyone on board the plane - 66 including the crew -- died when the flight from Paris to Cairo crashed May 19.

Electronic messages sent out by the jet showed smoke detectors going off in a toilet and in the avionics area of the plane moments before it crashed.

Investigators have not ruled out any cause yet, including possible terrorism. Catastrophic fires on passenger planes are very rare, authorities said.

Egyptian investigators and a team from Airbus have been studying data downloaded from the black boxes and forensically examining pieces from the wreckage, but are concerned the cockpit recorders may have stopped working too soon to provide any definitive answers.

Typically, when a plane crashes, the black boxes continue to record using battery power. In some cases, though, widespread fire interferes with their operation.

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