It has been more than three years since an EgyptAir Airbus A320 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all onboard. A transparent investigation never occurred. Until now. In a leaked document, French authorities cite gross negligence, undercutting the EgyptAir narrative of terrorism aboard MS804.
The Egyptians claimed it was terrorism, did not make the investigation transparent citing security concerns, and concluded, without sharing evidence, that a bomb brought down the plane. Specifically, Egypt alleged traces of the explosive TNT were found on passengers, a questionable claim considering the bodies were underwater for several weeks.
But now a French judicial probe has alleged that key safety and maintenance lapses led to the crash. The confidential report was created in 2018 but just leaked to the Wall Street Journal. It asserts that an oxygen leak in the cockpit disabled the aircraft after a fire broke out.
Automated messages registered “serious mechanical errors” on its last five flights, which were simply ignored by Egyptair. The report even questions whether the EgyptAir technician who inspected the aircraft prior to takeoff from Paris was certified. He claimed he had not been made aware of any technical faults onboard by the flight crew or the EgyptAir operations center in Cairo. Per the report:
“[T]he plane should have been checked during its four previous flights, and should not have left Cairo after the appearance of repeated faults that were not reported by successive teams.”
The report further cites “a major lack of rigor by the teams and technical services of EgyptAir in handling the technical documents of the aircraft.”
Egyptian and EgyptAir officials have refused to comment.
This is a damning report: there is no other way to say it. The good news, if you want to call it that, is that EgyptAir has stepped up its maintenance after this incident. The bad news is that it appears the deadly crash of MS804 was totally avoidable.
> Read More: Is EgyptAir Safe?
image: Bulent Kavakkoru / Wikimedia Commons