Egypt marks MS804 crash with ceremony and no information

2017-05-20 14:00
A man lights a candle during an event marking the first anniversary of the EgyptAir MS804 flight, that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, in the capital Cairo. (AFP)

A man lights a candle during an event marking the first anniversary of the EgyptAir MS804 flight, that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, in the capital Cairo. (AFP)

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Cairo - Egypt held a sombre ceremony on the first anniversary of the EgyptAir MS804 disaster in Cairo Friday, but no answers were forthcoming on why the flight crashed into the Mediterranean killing all passengers on board.

During the ceremony at Cairo airport, relatives of the victims laid flowers at the foot of a memorial wall bearing the names of all 66 passengers and crew killed when the Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo crashed.

The ceremony came two weeks after a source close to the French investigation ruled out that explosives caused the crash, contradicting Egyptian investigators who had said explosive traces were found on the victims' bodies.

After the ceremony on Friday, Egyptian Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy refused to comment on the result of the French investigation, saying he had no seen any "official statements" from them.

Asked by AFP why Egypt had not announced the results of its investigation a year after the crash, Fathy said the prosecution had taken over the probe.

"The investigation is still ongoing. There are no conclusions," he said.

"We will present the conclusions we have at the appropriate time."

In December, an official Egyptian investigative committee had said it found traces of explosives on victims' remains, but French officials at the time refused to draw conclusions on the cause of the accident.

No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the crash, which killed 40 Egyptians, including the 10-member crew, 15 French citizens and victims from several other countries.

French investigators had always favoured a mechanical fault as the crash cause, saying a fire broke out in or near the cockpit of the plane before it plunged 22,000 feet and swerved sharply prior to disappearing from radar screens.

The French investigation source said earlier this month "the combustion or self-combustion of a tablet in the cockpit" was "the working hypothesis".

But elements needed to prove it - such as debris from "the cabin or flight recorders" - were in Egypt and "the Egyptians have not shown a great willingness to collaborate", the source said.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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