EgyptAir Black Boxes Confirm Smoke Was Detected on Doomed Plane

June 29, 2016 Updated: June 29, 2016

A black box recording from the crashed EgyptAir plane confirms there was smoke on board, Egyptian investigators said.

In a progress report on Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said there was “consistency with ACARS messages of lavatory smoke and avionics [bay] smoke.” ACARS refers to the plane’s automated Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, and that data was leaked to The Aviation Herald late last month, indicating smoke.

The plane, which was carrying 66 people from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19. The cause of the crash so far has not been determined.

The Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said some of the “recovered wreckage parts of the front section of the aircraft showed signs of high temperature damage and soot.

“Preliminary information shows that the entire flight is recorded on the [flight data recorder], from when it took off from Charles de Gaulle airport to when the recording stopped at the place of the accident at 37,000 feet,” the statement said. Investigators will now try to analyze what caused the source of the smoke, soot, and damage.

Crews will also try to find and locate any human remains and will continue until they have “full recovery of all the remains” at the crash site, the investigators said.

The voice and flight data recorders, called the black boxes, were recovered from a depth of about 9,800 feet in the Mediterranean. Last week, the two black boxes were sent to France for repairs after being heavily damages in the crash.

The second black box—the cockpit recorder—is being repaired in Paris, officials said.

The EgpytAir flight was carrying 40 Egyptians, 15 French, 2 Canadians, 2 Iraqis, and passengers from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared from radar somewhere between the Greek island of Crete and the coast of Egypt.

Egyptian investigators previously said that the plane turned 90 degrees left before turning a full 360 degrees to the right as it dropped from 38,000 feet to 15,000 feet. It disappeared at around 10,000 feet.