The wreckage of the missing EgyptAir plane has been located in the Mediterranean sea where EgyptAir flight MS804 vanished from radar, Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos said Friday afternoon.
“We were informed by Egyptian authorities that a body part, two seats and one or more items of luggage just south of where the aircraft signal was lost,” Kammenos told a press conference.
Earlier Friday, Egyptian army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir said in a statement posted on Facebook: “Egyptian jets and naval vessels participating in the search for the missing plane have found personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of the city of Alexandria.”
BREAKING: Egyptian army spokesman says plane wreckage found 180 miles (290 kilometers) from Egypt's Alexandria. https://t.co/3JcrtXmopB
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 20, 2016
An airport spokesperson said government officials had been informed of the discovery on Friday morning as searches for the Airbus A320 continued.
“The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declaring the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804 near Karpathos Island.
“EgyptAir sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers on board.”
Three French and three British investigators and an Airbus technical expert have arrived in Cairo to join chief Egyptian investigator Ayman el-Mokadam in analyzing the wreckage, an airport official said.
The European Space Agency released a statement on their website Friday saying:
The Sentinel-1A radar satellite has detected a potential oil slick in the eastern Mediterranean Sea – in the same area where EgyptAir flight MS804 disappeared early yesterday morning on its way from Paris to Cairo.
The image was acquired by Sentinel-1A yesterday at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CEST).
ESA has given information related to the image to the relevant authorities to support the search operations.
Since the plane disappeared, ESA and experts have been scrutinizing satellite data to see if anything could be found to indicate wreckage or oil floating on the sea.
According to the satellite image, the slick was at 33°32′ N / 29°13′ E – about 40 km southeast of the last known location of the aircraft. The slick is about 2 km long.
There is, however, no guarantee that the slick is from the missing aircraft.
Flight MS804 left Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. Paris time on Wednesday evening. The A320 was flying at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet and disappeared from radar at 2:45 a.m. Cairo time, 10 miles (16 km) before entering Egyptian airspace.
An informed source at EGYPTAIR reported that EGYPTAIR Flight No MS 804 has lost communication with radar tracking system at 02:45 (CLT)
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016
EgyptAir confirmed 30 Egyptians, 15 French, one British, one Belgian, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi Arabian, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian were on board the aircraft.
EgyptAir plane crashed off Greek island of Karpathos: Greek source CORRECTS link: https://t.co/30pYOLJuMn pic.twitter.com/vjs9rVF1wt
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 19, 2016
Greek and Egyptian armed forces were involved in the search for the plane. France also sent planes and boats to assist operation.
According to EgyptAir, the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320. The co-pilot had logged a total of 2,766 flying hours.