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Crashed EgyptAir plane debris found in Mediterranean

Published 21/05/2016

New images have emerged of shattered parts of the EgyptAir plane recovered from the crash site in the Mediterranean.

The Egyptian military released photographs of the debris including fragments of seats, passenger belongings and a life vest featuring the airline's logo as a major search continued.

The development came after reports suggested smoke was detected in parts of the plane before it disappeared from radar and plummeted into the water early on Thursday.

Flight MS804 - carrying 56 passengers including one Briton and 10 crew members from Paris to Cairo - went down about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt's coastline, or around 175 miles offshore, after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Before it disappeared from radar screens around 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT), the plane spun all the way around and suddenly lost altitude.

What caused the Airbus A320 to crash remains a mystery as authorities scramble to recover the aircraft's black boxes.

French air accident investigation agency spokesman Sebastien Barthe told the Associated Press (AP) that the plane's automatic detection system sent messages indicating smoke a few minutes before it disappeared from radar.

The messages "generally mean the start of a fire", he said, but added: "We are drawing no conclusions from this. Everything else is pure conjecture."

Egypt's army spokesman said debris and passenger belongings have been located 180 miles off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt.

Airport officials in Egypt said investigators will inspect the debris and personal belongings that have been recovered.

Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday. PA
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday. PA
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday May 21, 2016. See PA story AIR Egypt. Photo credit should read: Egyptian Armed Force/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday May 21, 2016. See PA story AIR Egypt. Photo credit should read: Egyptian Armed Force/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
This handout picture taken and released by the French naval Force SIRPA on May 20, 2016 in Hyeres, southeastern France shows a French serviceman onboard the Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft leaving to take part in a search operation of the missing EgyptAir plane. Egypt found wreckage including seats and luggage on May 20 from the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean, as investigators tried to unravel the mystery of why it swerved and plummeted into the sea. Search teams spotted personal belongings of passengers and parts of the Airbus A320 about 290 kilometres (180 miles) north of Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria, the military said. The Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo swerved suddenly before plunging and disappearing from radar screens early on May 19, 2016 with 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptian and 15 French passengers. / AFP PHOTO / SIRPA / - / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / SIRPA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS -/AFP/Getty Images
Undated handout photo taken from the Facebook page of Egyptian Armed Forces showing debris that has been recovered from EgyptAir flight 804 that went down in the Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday May 21, 2016. See PA story AIR Egypt. Photo credit should read: Egyptian Armed Force/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Egyptian and Russian officials have said the plane may have been brought down by terrorists, and there are no signs of survivors.

Among the passengers was Briton Richard Osman, a 40-year-old father-of-two originally from Carmarthen in Wales, who was described by his younger brother Alastair as a workaholic and a very admirable person who "never deviated from the straight path".

The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft, the airline said on Twitter.

It tweeted that the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320, and the co-pilot had logged 2,766 hours.

The Egyptian military also released a video of the search operation, showing navy units recovering the items.

As the video pans over the debris, a shoe and a handbag can be seen among the remnants of the aircraft.

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