Egyptian authorities says an ocean search vessel has identified the remains of the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean, killing 66 people on board last month.
A statement said “several main locations of the wreckage” had been identified by a survey vessel, John Lethbridge.
A search team on board the vessel will now draw a map of the wreckage’s distribution spots, the committee said in a statement. The vessel is equipped with sonar and other equipment capable of detecting wreckage at depths up to 6,000ft.
The Airbus A320 disappeared from radar en route to Cairo from Paris on May 19. Signals from the data recorders needed to track them down on the seabed are expected to expire on June 24. To recover the black boxes some 3,000 metres below the sea surface, investigators will need to pinpoint the signals to within a few metres and establish whether the pingers are still connected to the recorders. No group has claimed responsibility for the crash.
According to Greek investigators, the plane turned 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right, dropping from 11,300m (37,000ft) to 4,600m (15,000ft) and then 3,000m (10,000ft) before it was lost from radar.
Ships and planes from Egypt, Greece, France, the US and other nations have been searching the Mediterranean Sea north of the Egyptian port of Alexandria for the jet’s voice and flight data recorders, as well as more bodies and parts of the aircraft.
Sherif Fathi, Egypt’s civil aviation minister, has said he believes terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure or some other catastrophic event.
But no hard evidence has emerged on the cause, and no armed group has claimed to have downed the jet.