EgyptAir search: Egypt says French ship detected potential black - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

EgyptAir search: Egypt says French ship detected potential black-box signals

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BY CHARLENE GUBASH, ALASTAIR JAMIESON, CASSANDRA VINOGRAD, NBC News

(NBC News) - CAIRO — A French ship has picked up signals believed to be from the black boxes of crashed EgyptAir Flight MS804, investigators said Wednesday.

Naval survey vessel "Laplace" has received signals from the search area which are assumed to be from one of the plane's data recorders, Egypt's investigating committee said in a statement.

The development was confirmed by the French investigation agency, BEA. Spokesman Sebastien Barthe told NBC News that the signal had been detected on the vessel by a private contractor, Alseamar. He said he was unable to provide further information.

Egypt has been leading a multi-national effort to locate the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the crashed Airbus A320.

The 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 deep.

There have been a series of conflicting reports in recent days regarding whether new signals had been received from Flight MS804.

Investigators hope the black boxes could explain why plane crashed on May 19 with 66 people on board while en route from Paris to Cairo.

Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi has said he believes terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure or some other catastrophic event. However, no hard evidence has emerged on the cause, and no terror group has claimed to have downed the jet.

Earlier, leaked flight data indicated a sensor had detected smoke in a lavatory and a fault in two of the plane's cockpit windows in the final moments of the flight.

Small pieces of wreckage and some human remains have been found by search teams in wake of the crash. However, the bulk of the plane is believed to be deep under the sea.

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