Initial information extracted from one of the two black boxes of the EgyptAir jet that crashed into the Mediterranean last month suggests there was smoke in its toilet area, investigators said on Wednesday.
The data had been successfully downloaded from the plane’s flight data recorder, the Egypt-led investigation committee said.
“The recorded data on the device is consistent with messages of the plane’s ACARS system that indicate smoke in its toilet and avionics room,” the committee said in a statement.
Wreckage retrieved from the front part of the jet pointed to damage caused by high heat and intense smoke, the investigators added.
“A comprehensive analysis will be conducted to determine the source and causes of these indications," the committee said.
The authorities said preliminary information also showed that data from the entire flight had been recorded starting from its Paris departure until its crash in the Mediterranean Sea on May 19.
The second of the plane’s two black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder - remains in France for repair.
The data on the two black boxes will be crucial to determining the cause of the crash 290 kilometres north of the Egyptian coast, in which all 66 people on board were killed.
Greek and Egyptian radar records showed that the plane veered sharply to the left and then spun around to the right in the last minutes before crashing. No distress call was received.
The crash came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up in midair shortly after take-off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.
By Tobias Hase
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