Forensics Chief Dismisses 'Assumptions' of Plane Explosion
Too early to tell what brought down EgyptAir flight, he says
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2016 6:18 AM CDT
Updated May 24, 2016 9:50 AM CDT
A US Navy pilot takes notes while in a US Navy Lockheed P-3C Orion patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean.   (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

(Newser) – The black boxes from EgyptAir Flight 804 remain somewhere in the Mediterranean, and until they're found, dueling accounts about what happened to the jet seem bound to continue. On Tuesday, an anonymous Egyptian forensics official made headlines after noting that the approximately 80 body parts recovered so far were so small—“the biggest part was the size of a palm,” he told Reuters—that it seemed logical to conclude an explosion tore apart the plane in midair. What's more, he said one piece of a human arm had signs of burns. However, the head of Egypt's forensics agency then went on the record to dismiss the assessment as "baseless and mere assumptions," reports the AP.

Another issue: Immediately after the accident, Greece's defense chief suggested the plane had begun making emergency turns—first 90 degrees and then 360 degrees—as it left Greek airspace and entered Egyptian airspace. Now, however, an Egyptian aviation official is challenging that account, reports the Guardian. "There was no turning to the right or left, and it was fine when it entered Egypt's [space]," says Ehab Azmy. He suggests that the plane plunged directly into the sea about a minute later. All 66 people aboard were killed in the crash.