Submarine joins search
President discusses EgyptAir crash
Egypt’s president said last night a submarine belonging to his country’s Oil Ministry was heading to the site of the crash of EgyptAir Flight-804 in the eastern Mediterranean to join the search for the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, commonly known as black boxes.
President Abdel-Fattah El Sissi also said Egypt was jointly investigating Thursday’s crash with the French government.
“It is very, very important to us to establish the circumstances that led to the crash of that aircraft,” he said in comments broadcast live on Egyptian TV channels.
He said that the submarine, which has the capacity to operate at a depth of 3,000m below the surface, left for the site yesterday. He gave no further details.
Making his first public comments since the crash of the Airbus A320 while en route from Paris to Cairo, El Sissi said it “will take time” to determine the exact cause of the crash, which killed all 66 people on board.
He thanked the nations that have joined Egyptian navy ships and aircraft in the search for the wreckage and started his comments with a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims.
El Sissi also cautioned the media against premature speculation on the cause of the crash.
“There is not one scenario that we can exclusively subscribe to... all scenarios are possible,” he said.
El Sissi spoke a day after the leak of flight data showing trouble in the cockpit and smoke in a lavatory aboard the doomed aircraft, bringing into focus the chaotic final moments of the flight, including a three-minute period before contact was lost as alarms on the plane screeched one after another.
Investigators have been poring over the plane’s passenger list and questioning staff at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, where the airplane took off.
However, officials have been cautioning that it was still too early to say what happened to the aircraft, but mounting evidence points to a sudden, dramatic catastrophe.
SCOURING: A naval vessel hunts for debris at the site of the air disaster