EgyptAir flght MS804: Egypt's forensics chief denies that remains retrieved from wreckage suggest blast on board

Debris that the search teams found in the sea after the EgyptAir Airbus A320 crashed in the Mediterranean, released by the Egyptian military spokesperson on May 21, 2016.
Debris that the search teams found in the sea after the EgyptAir Airbus A320 crashed in the Mediterranean, released by the Egyptian military spokesperson on May 21, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (Reuters) - The human remains so far retrieved from the wreckage of the crashed EgyptAir plane suggest that there was an explosion aboard, an Egyptian forensics official and investigation sources said on Tuesday (May 24), a claim that was however denied by the forensics chief.

The official based his assessment on the small size of body parts so far recovered from the site in the Mediterranean sea. Investigators had not so far found any traces of explosives that would suggest it was caused by a bomb, the sources said. "The size of the remains points towards an explosion, the biggest part was the size of a palm. Some of the remains started arriving on Sunday in about 23 bags," the forensics official said.

However, Egypt's head of forensics denied the reports, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday. "Everything published about this matter is completely false, and mere assumptions that did not come from the Forensics Authority," MENA quoted Mr Hesham Abdelhamid as saying in a statement.

 
 
 

Another forensics official earlier said that only a tiny number of remains had arrived so far and it was too early to specify whether there had been an explosion aboard.

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 said that neither deliberate sabotage nor a technical fault could be ruled out.

Investigators rely on debris, bags and clothes as well as chemical analysis to detect the imprints of an explosion, according to people involved in two previous probes where deliberate blasts were involved.