Inquest held up over crash cause dispute
A FATHER from Carmarthen was one of 66 killed when a fire broke out on a flight over the Mediterranean – but an inquest in Milford Haven heard French and Egyptian investigators cannot agree on the cause of the crash.
One theory being investigated is that the pilot’s iPhone or iPad overheated when it was plugged into the wrong socket in the cockpit.
New dad Richard Osman, 40, was on board flight MS804 heading from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from radar overnight and plunged into the sea in May 2016.
The geologist, who used to live in Mumbles, was on his way to work in Egypt just two weeks after the birth of his second child from his French wife, Aurelie.
But the full inquest into how Mr Osman died is being held up over a dispute between French and Egyptian investigators over whether the fire brought down the plane.
Carmarthenshire coroner Mark Layton said: “Suggestion that a fire brought the plane down in the end are disputed by French and Egyptian authorities.”
Earlier reports say Egyptian authorities have concluded their inquiry and a file has been passed to the country’s Attorney General in Cairo.
But a separate investigation by the French has stalled due to the Egyptians’ apparent refusal to hand over debris and raw data from the air- craft’s black box recorders.
Mr Layton earlier said: “I promise Mrs Osman and other family members, everything I can do, I will to establish how Mr Osman came to die.
“I’m sure that with that air investigation report we will be able to do that.”
He added: “The obvious difficulty here is the Egyptian airline is based in Egypt and is not under the jurisdiction of this country.
“I asked when the report would be available and whether they would be releasing an interim report. That hasn’t happened in 12 months as is usually the case.
“But it’s important that we get there eventually to be able to provide the family with answers.”
EgyptAir flight 804 went down in the Mediterranean while en route from Paris to Cairo in May 2016, killing 40 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, and one Briton.
It was reported several of the victims claim the crash was down to the co-pilot’s iPhone 6S or iPad mini overheating in the cockpit and catching fire.
The families claim an investigation has revealed the device ignited and led to a bigger fire in the cockpit, which ultimately took the plane down.
The families are suing for damages and both the airline and Apple are listed in the case. Mr Osman went to Queen Elizabeth Cambria school in Carmarthen.
The inquest in Milford Haven was adjourned to a later date.