Data from one of the black boxes of a crashed EgyptAir plane showed smoke alarms had sounded on board, while soot was found on the wreckage, an Egyptian-led investigative committee said Wednesday.
The black box had been retrieved from the bottom of the Mediterranean after the Airbus A320 with 66 people on board plunged into the sea on May 19 while heading to Cairo from Paris.
It had recorded the flight’s data from its departure until it “stopped at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,250 meters),” the committee said in a statement.
“Recorded data is showing a consistency with ACARS messages of lavatory smoke and avionics smoke,” it said, two days after the damaged recorder was repaired in France.
Investigators had previously announced that the plane’s automated Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) sent signals indicating smoke alarms on board the plane before it went down.
“Parts of the front section of the aircraft showed signs of high temperature damage and soot,” the committee statement added.
“Analysis will be carried out to try to identify the source and reason for those signs.”
The repair work of the cockpit voice recorder, the second black box, had also begun.
The plane was carrying 40 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, two Canadians and one passenger each from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Egyptian officials initially indicated they suspected a terrorist attack was behind the crash, but to this day no group or organization has claimed responsibility.