A signal has been detected from one of the black boxes that were on board doomed EgyptAir flight MS804, French investigators said on Wednesday.
The discovery raises hopes that the data and cockpit voice recorders, known as black boxes, can soon be retrieved and will give insight into the crash of the Airbus A320 on May 19, which killed all 66 people on board.
“The signal from a beacon from a flight recorder has been detected,” by navy vessel Laplace, said Remi Jouty of France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis on Wednesday, according to reports from Egyptian investigators.
Based on the data which has been collected, the search for the plane has been narrowed to a 5-kilometre (3-mile) area in the Mediterranean.
Egyptian and French navy vessels are participating in the search, and Egypt last week hired two private maritime companies to assist in finding the black boxes and the wreckage of the plane.
Egypt says that the search was intensified to locate the two black boxes in preparation for their retrieval by one of the private vessels, expected to arrive within a week.
The recording data devices are designed to emit acoustic signals for 30 days after a crash, giving search teams fewer than three weeks to spot them in waters up to 9,840-feet (3,000-meters) deep, which is on the edge of their range.
So far, the searching teams have found only small pieces of the bodies of the victims and fragments of the debris of the crashed plane. DNA samples have been taken from the families of the victims in an attempt to identify some of the remains.
About | EgyptAir Flight MS804
EgyptAir Flight MS804 vanished en route from Paris to Cairo, around 40 minutes from its destination.
On board: 56 passengers, 10 crew
Route: Paris Charles de Gaulle to Cairo
Departure: Left Paris at 11.09pm local time (10.09pm London time) on Wednesday 18 March
Disappearance: Lost contact at 2.39am local time (1.39am London time) over the Mediterranean sea, approximately 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace
Plane: Airbus A320, manufactured in 2003. This flight was the plane’s fifth of the day. It had already travelled to Asmara, Eritrea and Carthage in Tunisia
Captain: 6,275 flying hours experience
Co-pilot: 2,766 flying hours experience
Passengers’ nationalities: 15 French, 30 Egyptian, 1 British, 1 Belgian, 2 Iraqis, 1 Kuwaiti, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudanese, 1 Chadian, 1 Portuguese, 1 Algerian, 1 Canadian