The Gulf Air engineer who made a routine maintenance check on the Airbus A320 that crashed Wednesday near Bahrain told AFP Friday there was nothing wrong with the plane's engines before it took off.
"We did all the routine maintenance and found no technical problems whatsoever," said Bahraini Ismail Ghdoon, 36, who has worked as Gulf Air's resident engineer in Cairo for the past six years.
Bahraini government officials originally said the plane crashed into the sea with one of its engines on fire, but the country's civil aviation department has since dismissed that report as "pure speculation."
"The engines were fine. There was no problem there," said Ghdoon. "I signed the maintenance report, and the captain signed it to show his acceptance, and the plane took off without any sign of a problem."
Airbus said in a statement Wednesday night that the ill-fated plane was powered by two CFM56-5 engines, which were delivered to Gulf Air in September 1994 and had logged 17,177 flight hours.
According to CFM International's website, the engine is used on 60 percent of Airbus A320s and less than one in a thousand departures of those planes have been delayed or cancelled due to engine causes.
Ghdoon said he was fully licensed and had worked for Gulf Air since 1984.
Gulf Air ground staff employee Hisham Labib told AFP earlier that the maintenance checks showed that "everything was fine." "It arrived OK, the check was OK and it left OK," he said.
Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority has offered Bahrain its technical assistance in the investigation into the crash, which killed all 143 people on board -- CAIRO (AFP)
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