EgyptAir flight 804 human remains suggest explosion on board, Egyptian official reports

A senior Egyptian forensics official says human remains retrieved from the crash site of EgyptAir flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board that may have brought down the aircraft.

The official is part of the Egyptian investigative team and has personally examined the remains at a Cairo morgue. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorised to release the information.

He says all 80 pieces brought to Cairo so far are small and that "there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head."

The official adds that "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion."

All 66 people on board were killed when the Airbus 320 crashed in the Mediterranean early Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo.

The news comes as victims remains began arriving at a Cairo morgue for DNA testing and follows mixed reports over the planes last movements.

Immediately after the crash the Greek defence minister said the plane "swerved and then plunged" dropping from 37,000 feet to around 15,000 before crashing into the sea.

However the head of Egypt's state-run air navigation service provider Ehab Azmy, said there was no indication that the plane made unusual movements.

The flight vanished from radar screens on early Thursday morning last week.

Ships and planes scouring the sea north of Alexandria found body parts, personal belongings and debris from the Airbus 320, but were still trying to locate two "black box" recorders that could shed light on the cause of Thursday's crash.

"There were enough body parts to fill one body bag," a security official who saw the body parts arrive at Zeinhom morgue in Cairo told Reuters anonymously.

Investigators are due to take DNA samples from the families of passengers and crew on Tuesday as the task begins of identifying what few remains have been recovered so far.

Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek asked his French counterpart to hand over documents, audio and visual records on the plane during its stay at Charles de Gaulle Airport and until it left French airspace, his office said in a statement on Monday.

He also asked Greek authorities to hand over transcripts of calls between the pilot and Greek air traffic control officials, and for the officials to be questioned over whether the pilot sent a distress signal.

Egyptian officials say they received no mayday call from the pilots before the plane disappeared.

Greek officials say that controllers chatted with the pilot after the plane entered Greek airspace and that he sounded cheerful.

He thanked them in Greek, they said. When they tried to call him again to hand over to Egyptian air traffic control they got no response. The plane then disappeared from radar.

French investigators say the plane sent a series of warnings indicating that smoke had been detected on board as well as other possible computer faults shortly before it disappeared.

The signals did not indicate what may have caused smoke, and aviation experts have not ruled out either deliberate sabotage or a technical fault.

If the black box recorders are found intact their contents will be studied in Egypt, air accident investigator Captain Hani Galal told CBC, but they will be sent abroad for analysis if found damaged.

The State Security Prosecution will handle the criminal side of the investigation and will examine all debris and remains, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Sunday.

- news.com.au

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