EgyptAir Flight 804 Data Recorder Indicates Smoke in Bathroom, Avionics Bay

PHOTO: The French vessel John Lethbridge, which was contracted by the Egyptian government to join the search for the crashed EgyptAir Flight 804, located the cockpit voice recorder about 13,000 feet under sea.PlayThomas Ranner/AP Photo
WATCH New Details in EgyptAir Crash Mystery

Information pulled from EgyptAir Flight 804's data recorder suggests smoke may have been detected in a lavatory and the avionics bay in the moments before the doomed flight plunged into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, the Egyptian government said today.

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Some of the wreckage, recovered from the front section of the aircraft, showed signs of high temperature damage and soot, the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee reported.

Experts say the smoke alerts indicate that the plane, an Airbus A320 carrying 66 people from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International, likely suffered an electrical fire.

According to Egyptian investigators, preliminary data show that the flight data recorder abruptly cut off at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

Today's information is consistent with data from the plane's ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System), leaked to The Aviation Herald late last month.

At the time, an A320 chief avionics mechanic for a major U.S. airline said that the ACARS data suggest that the window heater computer in the avionics compartment may have malfunctioned, which could have eventually led to a total electrical failure on the jet.

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