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Egypt’s investigation committee said the first so-called black box from the ill-fated Airbus A320 was located and pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday. Despite damage to the voice recorder, the Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search vessel successfully recovered the machine’s memory unit.
The second black box, which contains data from the aircraft’s systems, was found on Friday.
The Airbus A320 crashed early on May 19 on its way from Paris to Cairo. The two black box recorders are crucial to explaining what went wrong.
The Egyptian investigation committee said preparations were under way to transfer the two flight recorders to Alexandria, where they will be received by an official from the general prosecutor’s office and investigators.
No group has claimed responsibility for bringing down the plane, but investigation sources have said that it was too early to rule out any causes, including terrorism.
It is hoped that the cockpit recorders will reveal pilot conversations and any cockpit alarms that may have gone off as well as other clues, such as engine noise. But crash experts say they may provide only limited insight into what caused the crash, especially if the crew was confused or unable to diagnose what was wrong with the plane.
The crash is the third blow since October to Egypt’s travel industry. A Russian plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October, killing all 224 people on board in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. An EgyptAir plane was grounded in March after being hijacked by a mentally unstable man wearing a fake suicide belt. No one was hurt in that incident.