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Egypt to send French MS804 crash victims home for burial

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Egypt to send French MS804 crash victims home for burial
Egyptians light candles in Cairo in memory of those killed in the EgyptAir crash. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP
13:34 CET+01:00
Egyptian authorities on Saturday started handing the remains of those killed in the crash of EgyptAir flight 804 to their families, the airline said.
The Airbus A320 had been flying from Paris to Cairo on May 19 when it crashed into the southeast Mediterranean killing all 66 on board, including 40 Egyptians and 15 French nationals.
   
EgyptAir said Saturday it had begun "overseeing the handover of the remains of the MS804 plane crew members" to their families.
   
Officials will start handing over the Egyptian passengers' remains on Sunday and the bodies of French passengers and other nationalities will follow, it said, without specifying a timeline.
   
The airliner had been carrying two Iraqis, two Canadians and one passenger each from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.    
 
Egypt's aviation ministry said on December 15 that traces of explosives were found on victims' remains.
   
France's air safety agency said it was not possible to determine what caused the crash but aviation experts have said there is little chance that a mechanical fault was responsible.
   
The plane only entered service in 2003, making it relatively new for an aircraft that tends to have an operational life of 30 to 40 years.
 
Investigators determined that a fire broke out in or near the cockpit before the plane crashed between Crete and the coast of northern Egypt.
   
The disaster came as Cairo was still investigating the October 2015 crash of a Russian passenger plane filled with tourists flying home over the Sinai peninsula.
   
The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for bombing the Airbus A321 that crashed soon after takeoff from a Sinai resort, killing all 224 passengers and crew.
   
There has been no such claim linked to May's EgyptAir crash.
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