Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

New theories over what caused EgyptAir disaster

EgyptAir Airbus A 320-200 (AFP PHOTO / Andras Soos)
EgyptAir Airbus A 320-200 (AFP PHOTO / Andras Soos)

MYSTERY continued to surround the fate of the doomed EgyptAir flight last night – as harrowing images of debris from the wreckage emerged.

Life vests, shoes, handbags and seats were all recovered from the expanse of Mediterranean where the flight crashed.

Images released by the Egyptian military also showed a scrap of cloth that appeared to be part of a baby’s purple and pink blanket.

The harrowing scenes emerged as theories about the fate of flight MS804 before it plummeted into the Mediterranean continued to emerge.

Many experts quickly deduced the horror was almost certainly the work of Islamist extremists.

A Russian airliner was brought down by terrorism over Egyptian soil last year, and the French-Egyptian link to the latest tragedy seemed to underline the fact it was terrorism.

But a new picture has emerged of the last moments of the Paris to Cairo flight, which vanished from radar screens early on Thursday with 66 people on board.

Investigators have confirmed smoke was detected in various parts of the cabin three minutes before it disappeared.

A number of computers also shut down in the seconds before the Airbus was lost.

Sebastien Barthe, spokesman for the French air accident investigation agency, said the aircraft’s automatic detection system sent messages indicating smoke a few minutes before the plane disappeared from radar.

Crash wreckage (Egyptian Armed Forces / Handout /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Crash wreckage (Egyptian Armed Forces / Handout /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The messages, he explained, “generally mean the start of a fire”, but added: “We are drawing no conclusions from this. Everything else is pure conjecture.”

The key now is to recover the black box flight recorder.

It will give the clearest picture of what happened on board and whether the flight is the latest to succumb to the scourge of air terrorism.

The fact the Egyptian military last night reiterated it had received no distress message from the aircraft before it disappeared left a slick of terrorism-related suspicion in its wake.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the Foreign Office was in close contact with Egyptian and French authorities and said that staff were supporting the family of a British passport holder – Richard Osman, 40 – who boarded the flight in Paris.

Meanwhile, French president Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace.

He also spoke to Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi by telephone and agreed to “closely co-operate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances” surrounding the disaster.

The debris and passenger belongings were located 180 miles off the coast of Alexandria.

Investigators will inspect the debris and personal belongings that have been recovered for signs of a bomb blast.

Civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said the disaster was still being investigated but the possibility it was a terror attack “is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure”.

Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia’s top domestic security agency, said: “In all likelihood, it was a terror attack.”

Among those on board were a child and two babies, EgyptAir said.

The airline said the passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.


READ MORE

‘Debris’ found in hunt for missing EgyptAir plan as officials fear terror attack caused crash

Brit among 66 passengers on board Egyptair flight thought to have crashed near Greek island