Miscellaneous – Justice | Egyptair crash: A fire caused by an oxygen mask leak, experts say

From La Provence (with AFP)

The 2016 Egyptair plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea, which killed 66 people, was due to a leak of oxygen from the co-pilot’s mask, French experts concluded, told AFP on Thursday.

Flight MS804, connecting Paris to Cairo, crashed in the Mediterranean between Crete and the north coast of Egypt on May 19, 2016 after suddenly disappearing from radar screens. The 66 people on board, including 40 Egyptians and 15 French, perished. A month later, the black boxes were found.

While Cairo very quickly presented the evidence of an attack, Paris favored the thesis of a technical incident from the outset.

According to various reports submitted to the French judicial authority since the crash, of which AFP was aware, a fire broke out on board the cockpit, which was controlled by the crew, who appeared unable to locate and therefore use one , was hastily left fire extinguisher, which caused the crash a few minutes later. “The oxygen leakage from the co-pilot’s quick-release mask was named as the decisive factor for the cause of the fire‘ the five experts explain at the end of their latest 134-page report from March, presented by the Corriere della Sera.

In a previous June 2021 report, experts pointed out “a spontaneous outbreak of fire in the mere presence of the oxygen leak“.

They named three possible triggers”all of human origin“: “a pilot-requested static blanket” sleep, “Fatty substances that are part of the meal served to the pilot and finally a high probability of burning a lit cigarette or cigarette butt in an ashtray‘ while the crew regularly smoked in the cockpit.

The latest report reiterates that it is not possible “determine with certainty (…) the exact cause of the fire (cigarette, grease, sparks of static electricity)“.

The experts also noted: “unprofessional behavior” from the crew: music, coming and going in the cockpit several times, “lack of attention by the crew to follow the flight“, Etc. “There was a lack of maintenance, a series of negligence and serious irregularitiesTwo representatives of the Association of Families of the Victims of Egyptair’s MS 804 Crash told AFP and called for the airline to be charged.

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