New information emerging from investigations into the crash of the EgyptAir flight MS804 indicates that smoke detectors in the plane’s toilet were triggered followed a minute later by avionics alarm.
The avionics bay situated below the cockpit contains all the aircrafts electronic systems such as radio navigation equipment and radar.
French authorities confirmed that smoke detectors went off aboard the flight a few minutes before it crashed but said it was not clear what caused the smoke or fire, the UK’s Telegraph reports.
The “internal explosion” is said to have tore through the right side of the aircraft.
A series of messages sent from the aircraft indicate multiple threats on board – possibly including fire in a lavatory and the main electronics bay, The Independent (UK) also reported.
The messages were transmitted automatically to EgyptAir’s engineering base from the aircraft, using the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS).
“Acars” reports are short text messages sent routinely to the airline’s engineering base and the aircraft manufacturer. They are intended to inform staff working on the ground about the status of the aircraft and any anomalies that need to be addressed upon arrival.
A spokesperson for the French air accident investigation agency (BEA) told the Associated Press (AP) that the messages “generally mean the start of a fire”.
He however added that “we are drawing no conclusion from this … Everything else is pure conjecture.”
Investigators said searching for the fuselage and black box recorders of flight MS804 is their number one priority.
On Saturday, the Egyptian military released pictures of the debris recovered from the crash site including life jackets and other items marked with the EgyptAir logo.
On Friday, the Greek Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos announced the discovery of a body part, two seats and a luggage from the missing EgyptAir flight MS804.
Greek air traffic controllers, said the airplane vanished from radar at about 2.29 am local time, 40 seconds after it left Greek airspace and entered Egyptian airspace over the Mediterranean.
No bodies have as yet been recovered. Memorial events have however been taking place for the victims.
Family and friends of flight attendant Yara Hany gathered at a Coptic church in Cairo to grieve around a large cross of white flowers with a picture of the young woman.