Egypt denies reports that cockpit fire likely caused 2016 Egypt Air crash

EgyptAir flight MS804: French investigators says fire likely cause

It says the French report is "baseless", adding that "traces of explosives were found on the remains of passengers and parts of the plane".

On Friday, the BEA said information gleaned from the flight recorders suggested "a fire broke out in the cockpit. causing the loss of control of the aircraft".

Authorities at Cairo airport declined to comment, saying only that state prosecutors were investigating the case.

The black box, retrieved from the crash site by a specialist diving vessel, also confirmed that smoke alarms where triggered onboard, while recovered wreckage had indications of soot, the Egyptian Aviation Ministry stated in a statement in December 2016.

The word "fire" was audible on the plane's cockpit voice recorder shortly before it crashed, the Egyptian investigative committee said in July, according to British newspaper the Guardian.

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"Reports on news sites suggesting that the cause of the crash was a fire inside the cockpit have no basis", the statement said, in an apparent reference to the BEA statement.

France and Egypt have in the past disagreed over how crash investigations are handled. In this meeting, the Egyptian authorities explained that as it had been determined that there had been a malicious act, the investigation now fell within the sole jurisdiction of the judicial authorities.

It said it was waiting for Egypt to publish its final report into the crash to understand how the two countries arrived at different conclusions.

"The BEA considers that it is necessary to have this final report in order to have the possibility of understanding the cause of the accident and to provide the aviation community with the safety lessons which could prevent future accidents". But a source close to the French investigation previously said no such traces were found by the team.

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