EgyptAir plane crash: Sisi says no scenario more likely than others

Sunday 22-05-2016 12:33 PM

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. REUTERS

CAIRO, May 22 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt’s president called on Egyptian and international media on Sunday not to consider “a certain scenario” more likely than others regarding the cause of an EgyptAir plane crash that killed all 66 persons on board. 

“All scenarios are possible,” Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a speech he gave at the inauguration of expansions in a fertilizer factory in Egypt’s Damietta province. 

Egypt’s flag-carrier airline, EgyptAir, announced early Thursday morning that its flight MS804 vanished off the radar 16 km (10 miles) into Egyptian airspace as it was crossing the Mediterranean at 2:45 AM Cairo time en route from Paris to Cairo.    

The 12-year-old Airbus A320-232 jetliner had 56 passengers on board – 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, two Iraqi nationals, a British national, a Saudi national, a Portuguese national, a Belgian, a Kuwaiti, a Chadian, an Algerian, and a Canadian. It also had a 10-member crew on board.  

Sisi said that the Egyptian public prosecutor ordered an investigation into the cause behind the crash in coordination with the French government. 

France, where the plane was manufactured, is taking part in the investigation because it is the country with the second largest number of passengers on board the flight. Three French investigators and a technical expert from Airbus arrived in Cairo Friday morning to join the investigation. 

No one can hide information 

“Things can take time, and these are things that no one can hide. Once the findings have been revealed, these findings will be made public to all people,” he said 

The Egyptian president urged state institutions to “ensure the flow of information to the media” in a timely manner regarding the investigation into the crash. 

Earlier today, an Egyptian official was quoted in the country's leading state-run newspaper, Al-Ahram, as saying that the Egypt-led investigation committee will release a preliminary report in one month. 

The Egyptian military said in statements on Friday that its naval forces discovered debris, personal belongings of passengers, luggage, aircraft seats, and body parts in the Mediterranean Sea, 290 km north of Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria.   

Sisi said today that a Ministry of Petroleum submarine, which can reach 3,000 metres below the surface of the water, has been deployed in the area where the plane crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had said on Thursday that he does not rule out terrorism or any other factor. But no militant group has claimed responsibility for the crash as yet.  

The French air accident investigation agency BEA said on Saturday that the EgyptAir flight has sent signals that smoke was detected on the plane before it disappeared. But Egyptian officials said they are uncertain about such reports. 

The plane’s black boxes, pieces of equipment that record details about a flight and help pinpoint the cause of a crash, are yet to be retrieved.  

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