Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry, AFP | One of the two black boxes of the Russian airliner that crashed in Sinai Peninsula is photographed in Cairo on November 2, 2015
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt has confirmed there was an explosion on board Metrojet Airbus A321, French media reported Friday, citing an expert source.
Data from the CVR that was retrieved from the crash site in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has revealed that there was an explosion on board the flight, reported French weekly Le Point, quoting an unnamed expert.
“It was not a technical issue, but an outside action,” said the expert, suggesting the cause of the crash, which killed all 224 people on board, could be an explosion.
French investigators are part of an international team that includes Russian, German and Irish experts on the ground in Egypt.
The Metrojet Airbus A321 had two “black boxes” – as is the norm – on board: the CVR and the flight data recorder (FDR), which were recovered from the crash site and taken to Cairo offices of the Egyptian civil aviation authority.
Data from the CVR does not require complex interpretation as it merely records the voices and sounds in the cockpit. The FDR captures data on speed, altitude and steering mode, which typically requires careful analysis.
Russia and Egypt on Thursday had dismissed Western suggestions that a terrorist bomb may have caused the crash on October 31 that killed 224 people, saying the speculation was a rush to judgment.
Russia and Egypt insist the investigation into the crash must run its course before any conclusion is reached.
"The investigation team does not have yet any evidence or data confirming this hypothesis," Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said at the time about the possibility of a bomb.
The chairman of the Egyptian-led probe into the Russian plane crash in Sinai will hold a news conference in Cairo on Saturday at 1500 GMT (4 pm Paris local time), the government press centre said.
He will be joined by the civil aviation minister, the statement said.
The US Department of Homeland Security announced new security measures on Friday, including tighter screening of items before they are brought on board flights to the US from some foreign airports in the region.