French investigators in Egypt to aid crash probe


Egyptian military pilots taking part in a search mission over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday 20 May 2016 for the remains of an EgyptAir plane which crashed on May 19, 2016 with 66 people on board.

CAIRO, Egypt - Investigators from France&39;s air accident authority and Airbus have arrived in Egypt to help probe the mysterious crash of an EgyptAir plane in the Mediterranean, the French embassy said Friday.

Three BEA civil aviation experts and an Airbus technical adviser arrived in Cairo overnight, while search and rescue teams hunted for signs of wreckage, embassy spokeswoman Ines Ben Kraiem told AFP.

The Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo swerved suddenly before plunging and disappearing from radar screens early Thursday with 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptian and 15 French passengers.

The cause of the crash remains unknown but suspicions quickly focused on the possibility that it was downed by jihadists.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger plane over Egypt&39;s Sinai in October, killing all 224 people on board.

The French experts are set to meet Egyptian investigators on Friday afternoon to lay the groundwork for their probe, which is expected to get under way fully once wreckage has been retrieved.