EgyptAir Mystery Deepens
Body part, luggage discovered
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2016 5:23 AM CDT
Updated May 20, 2016 6:32 AM CDT
An Egyptian plane and ship search the Mediterranean Sea for Flight 804.   (AP Photo/Egyptian Defense Ministry)

(Newser) – If EgyptAir Flight 804 was indeed brought down by a terrorist group, that group is apparently not in a big hurry to claim credit for it. The mystery deepened on Friday, at which point more than 24 hours had elapsed since the flight crashed into the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board and no one had claimed responsibility, reports Reuters. The latest developments:

  • Egyptian authorities say they've spotted a body part, two seats, and suitcases from the plane, reports AP. Earlier reports on the discovery of wreckage turned out to be inaccurate.

  • Egypt says a terrorist attack is more likely the cause than a mechanical problem, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says there is still "absolutely no indication" why the Paris-to-Cairo flight came down, the BBC reports.
  • French investigators are looking at whether security at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport could have been breached, although security breaches at airports with looser security are also a strong possibility, the New York Times notes. In the 24 hours before going to Paris, the Airbus A320 flew round trips between Cairo and Asmara, Eritrea, and between Cairo and Tunis.
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed his "utmost sadness and regret" in an official statement.
  • Greece's chief air accident investigator tells the Guardian that while the investigation can't fully begin until the black boxes are found, weather can be ruled out as a cause. The three reasons for plane crashes are "meteorological, technical, and human," he says. "The first has now been ruled out because the weather was quite good. Whether a technical factor or human factor, either inside or outside the plane, is to blame remains to be seen. All possibilities are open."