Crash bod­ies ‘sug­gest mid-air blast’

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

HU­MAN re­mains from the crash site of Egyp­tAir flight 804 sug­gest there was an ex­plo­sion on board that may have brought the air­craft down.

A se­nior forensic of­fi­cial – part of the Egyp­tian in­ves­tiga­tive team – made the claim af­ter ex­am­in­ing the re­mains in Cairo.

He said all 80 pieces he had seen were small, and that “there isn’t even a whole body part, like an arm or a head”.

At least one piece of a hu­man arm, he said, had signs of burns – an in­di­ca­tion it might have “be­longed to a pas­sen­ger sat next to an ex­plo­sion”.

The of­fi­cial added: “The log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion is that an ex­plo­sion brought it down – but I can­not say what caused the blast.”

All 66 peo­ple on board were killed when the Air­bus 320 crashed in the Mediter­ranean early on Thurs­day while en route from Paris to Cairo.

Er­ratic

Egyp­tian au­thor­i­ties in­sist ter­ror­ism is a more likely ex­pla­na­tion than equip­ment fail­ure, while some avi­a­tion ex­perts have said the er­ratic flight re­ported by the Greek de­fence min­is­ter sug­gests a bomb blast or strug­gle in the cock­pit – but so far no hard ev­i­dence has emerged.

In­de­pen­dent Cairo news­pa­per al-Watan quoted an un­named foren­sics of­fi­cial as say­ing the plane blew up in mid-air, but that it has yet to be de­ter­mined whether the blast was caused by an ex­plo­sive de­vice or some­thing else.

The of­fi­cial said the re­mains re­trieved so far are “no larger than the size of a hand”.

Fam­ily mem­bers of the vic­tims ar­rived in Cairo yes­ter­day to give DNA sam­ples in an ef­fort to help iden­tify the re­mains.

Egypt has dis­patched a sub­ma­rine to search for the flight’s black boxes, while ships and planes from France, Bri­tain, Cyprus, Greece and the US have joined the in­ter­na­tional ef­fort to lo­cate wreck­age.

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