Egyptian officials probing the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 said Monday the plane veered off course before plunging into the sea, suggesting an abrupt in-flight explosion didn’t bring down the aircraft.
The Airbus Group SE A320 plane bound for Cairo from Paris deviated from its course while flying at 37,000 feet, first turning left before rolling to the right and completing a full circle, investigators said in their latest update into the May 19 crash that killed all 66 people onboard.
The finding confirms statements initially made by Greek officials about the last seconds of flight but initially rejected by Egyptian authorities, who suggested contact was lost more abruptly. Investigators have spent the past few days going over all available radar information to reconcile the conflicting theses.
The Egyptian finding does little to explain why the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. No cause has been ruled out, Egyptian officials have said, including potential hostile action.
The radar findings suggest, though, that there wasn’t a sudden explosion that tore the plane apart midair.