Egypt hired two foreign companies on Wednesday to help locate the black boxes of Egyptair flight MS804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last week with 66 people on board.
Egyptair Chairman, Safwat Muslim, said the Egyptian investigators tasked the firms, one French and one Italian, with locating the electronic recording devices, presumed to be sitting on the seabed at a depth of 3 kilometres, told reporters in Cairo.
He said the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, known as the black boxes would provide crucial information about the Airbus A320’s final moments.
Muslim said the searchers are racing against time because the devices’ underwater locator beacons only transmit “ping” signals for about 30 days.
“30 days is the typical duration of their battery life.
A day after the crash, Egyptair announced that wreckage from the jet and some body parts had been recovered from the sea.
The airline said the searches for remaining debris and human remains are continuing.
Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister, Sherif Fathy, said that the likelihood of a terrorist attack was “far higher than the likelihood that the plane developed a technical failure.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has warned against rushing to conclusions as to the cause of the crash.
The disaster came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up in mid-air shortly after take-off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.
Russian authorities said that the incident was caused by a bomb.
The Islamic State extremist group, which operates in Sinai, claimed responsibility and published a photograph of a soft drink can which it said had been filled with explosives and smuggled onto the flight.
Egyptian authorities are still investigating that incident.