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Black box of crashed EgyptAir Airbus A320 is found

By Maggie Michael

The cockpit voice recorder of the doomed EgyptAir plane which crashed last month, killing all 66 people on board, has been pulled from the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt's investigation committee said.

The development raised hopes that investigators would find clues as to the cause of the May 19 crash, which remains unclear. No terror group has claimed responsibility for bringing the plane down.

The Egyptian committee said the so-called black box - one of two on board the plane - has been damaged but that the vessel searching for the wreckage managed to safely recover the "memory unit, which is the most important in the recorder".

The recorder was retrieved in "several stages", the committee said, and is currently being transferred to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.

Once on shore, it will be handed over to the committee who will unload and analyse the data.

The voice recorder should contain a record of the last 30 minutes in the cockpit and is equipped to detect even loud breathing. Experts say that it takes 48 hours to retrieve data, unless it is damaged.

The EgyptAir Airbus A320 was en route to Cairo from Paris when it crashed between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast. 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.

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