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Word ‘fire’ heard before plane crash

CAIRO – The word “fire” is heard on the cockpit voice recorder of EgyptAir 804 before the plane crashed into the Mediterranean in May, an Egyptian-led investigative committee said Saturday.

Investigators had earlier said the other black box retrieved from the crash site, the data recorder, confirmed that smoke alarms had sounded on board, while soot on wreckage indicates a fire. “The committee had… started listening to the cockpit voice recordings before the occurrence of the accident; where the existence of ‘fire’ was mentioned,” it said in a statement.

“Still it is too early to determine the reason or the place where that fire started,” it said. The data recorder points to smoke signals indicating fires in the lavatory and avionics section of the plane, according to the committee. The data on the voice recorder had been downloaded earlier this month after it was repaired.

The Airbus A320 was carrying 40 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, two Canadians, and one passenger each from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. It had set off from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean. (AFP)