An Egyptian official heading the investigation into the cause of the crash of Cairo-bound EgyptAir Flight 804 south of Greece last week has questioned a statement by Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos suggesting the aircraft swerved before disappearing off Greek radar screens.
Kammenos said that after leaving Greek airspace and entering Egyptian territory, the aircraft swerved “90 degrees left and then 360 degrees” before plunging dramatically, indicating that there may have been a struggle in the cockpit or some unforeseen event like an explosion on the craft.
The head of Egypt’s National Air Navigation Services Company is challenging that account, according to CNN. Administrative board chairman Mohi El-Din Azmi is quoted as telling Egyptian state-run media Al-Ahram on Sunday that the plane did not swerve or lose altitude before it disappeared off the radar. It was at an altitude of 37,000 feet within the flight path, without any deviation, Azmi said, and disappeared from the radar screens less than a minute after it entered the Egyptian airspace, CNN reported.
The search for the missing craft is still ongoing, with efforts focusing on recovering the fuselage and flight data recorders, which may offer valuable information into what caused the Airbus A320 to go down with 66 people on board. Investigators have retrieved debris, life jackets and human remains from the sea.