Still no preferred theory on EgyptAir MS804 crash – French FM

PARIS, May 20 (KUNA) — There is still no preferred or more plausible theory to explain the disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 on Thursday in the Mediterranean and France is beefing up its naval and air assistance to try to locate the lost plane, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Friday.
“All hypotheses are under examination but none is preferred because we have absolutely no indication on the causes (of the crash),” he said on “France 2” television.
He said France has sent a search and rescue air surveillance plane to the area and another would soon arrive, in addition to naval vessels. The search was being coordinated with Egypt, Greece and several other countries.
Latest reports said debris from flight MS804 had not been found, after a false alert late Thursday said elements from the plane were floating on sea surface.
The plane abruptly went off radar screens at around 2:45 am Thursday after it plummeted suddenly from 37,000 feet. It disappeared after two sharp turns on its way down, according to radar monitoring. The plane was on a regular, scheduled flight from Paris to Cairo.
All 66 passengers and crew are presumed dead and relatives of those believed lost have already left France for Cairo on separate EgyptAir flights. There were 12 different nationalities on board the doomed flight, including one Kuwaiti national, 30 Egyptians, 15 French and various others.
“We want the truth, all the truth,” Ayrault affirmed, noting that recovery of the “Black Box” flight recorders was vital to the investigation.
“We have to be careful at this stage,” the Minister said, especially concerning conclusions on a terrorist attack.
Asked about Egyptian theories the loss of the EgyptAir plane was a terrorist attack, Ayrault said this was not his impression in contacts he had with Cairo.
“I spoke twice yesterday with my (Egyptian) counterpart Sami Shoukri and he didn’t say this. He simply said that he wanted all hypotheses examined, in full transparency… there is full cooperation between France and Egypt. This is very important,” he remarked.
France has sent three investigators from the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis and Airbus has sent a technical expert to help with the investigation. They arrived in Cairo on Thursday night.
France has also opened a criminal investigation into the crash and magistrates and a special unit of the Gendarmes are also working on the circumstances of the crash. (end) jk.hb

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