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egyptair black box

Egyptian investigators have recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the EgyptAir plane that crashed on May 19 into the Mediterranean Sea.

The MS804 “black box” was damaged and had to be pulled out in several stages but its memory unit was intact, they said.

A search vessel with an underwater robot has been scouring the crash site and has sent back images of wreckage.

Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo crashed on May 19, killing all 66 people on board.

It is not clear yet what caused the aircraft to go down.

In a statement, investigators said: “The vessel’s equipment was able to salvage the part [of the recorder] that contains the memory unit, which is considered the most important part of the recording device.”

Photo Twitter

Photo Twitter

The voice recorder will now be taken to the Egyptian city of Alexandria to be studied.

Airbus previously said that finding the black boxes was crucial to understanding what happened when radar lost track of MS804.

Electronic messages sent by the plane revealed that smoke detectors went off in the toilet and the aircraft’s electrics, minutes before the radar signal was lost.

A terror attack has not been ruled out but no extremist group has claimed to have downed the plane.

Analysts say human or technical error is also a possibility.

The crew on board do not appear to have sent a distress call.

The cockpit voice recorder should allow investigators to hear what the pilot and co-pilot were saying to each other, plus any alarms in the background.

If the flight data recorder is recovered, it should show what the plane’s computers were recording at the time.

Experts have warned that signals emitted by the data recorder are expected to expire by June 24.

The area in which flight MS804 crashed is one of the deepest in the Mediterranean – more than 10,000ft deep in some parts.

Days after the search began, debris and body parts were found to the east of the plane’s last known location. Egypt’s military released images of debris including a lifejacket, pieces of fabric and metal fragments.

On June 15, Egyptian investigators said the deep sea search vessel John Lethbridge had found wreckage of the fuselage of the plane in “several main locations” and had taken the first images of it.

A map of the distribution of the wreckage is being drawn up so a recovery operation can begin.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said one of its satellites detected what appeared to be a one mile-long oil slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in the same area the plane disappeared.

French investigators have confirmed that signals have been detected from one of the black boxes of the EgyptAir flight MS804 that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea last month.

Investigators were picked up by the French vessel Laplace as it was searching the Mediterranean Sea.

There were 66 people on board when the Airbus A320 crashed on May 19 while flying from Paris to Cairo.

The plane vanished from Greek and Egyptian radar screens, apparently without having sent a distress call.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

Remi Jouty of France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis said: “The signal from a beacon from a flight recorder has been detected.”

A priority search area has been established, he added.

The French navy is awaiting the arrival of a second vessel that is equipped to take pictures and retrieve objects from the sea.

Egyptian investigators first reported that the French vessels had picked up signals from the wreckage search area, saying they were “assumed” to be from one of the devices.

Officials from Egypt said last week signals from the plane’s emergency beacon had been detected but later said they were received on the day of the crash and were not new.

What caused the crash remains a mystery. Finding the black boxes is crucial to piecing together what happened in the plane’s final moments.

Black boxes emit signals for 30 days after a crash, giving search teams an ever-narrowing window to locate them before their batteries run out.

Debris from the plane has been recovered from the sea, some 180 miles north of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.

However, the bulk of the plane and the bodies of passengers are thought to be deep under the sea.

Those on board MS804 included 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, two Canadians, two Iraqis and citizens from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.