The 2016 crash of an EgyptAir flight that killed all 66 people on board was likely to have been caused by a cockpit fire, investigators have said.
The French BEA air accident investigation agency said that authorities in Egypt had apparently not followed up calls for further investigations and instead blamed an alleged bombing.
Egyptian officials have said traces of explosives were found on human remains retrieved from EgyptAir flight MS804, suggesting it was a malicious act.
“The BEA’s proposals concerning further work on the debris and recorded data were not, as far as the BEA knows, followed up. The technical elements of the investigation already collected by Egypt, including those provided by the BEA, are protected by the Egyptian judicial investigation,” the French statement said.
Twelve of those killed in the May 2016 crash were French nationals travelling from Paris to Cairo.
It is unusual for investigators to comment publicly on a case being led by their counterparts in another country. Any disagreement would usually be expressed confidentially, with public comments indicating serious divergences.
“The BEA considers that the most likely hypothesis is that a fire broke out in the cockpit while the aeroplane was flying at its cruise altitude and that the fire spread rapidly resulting in the loss of control of the aeroplane,” the statement said.
The statement noted that Egyptian investigators had not published their final report, adding that the BEA was ready to resume work with Egyptian authorities. International regulations stipulate a report should come out within a year of a crash.