Paris: Deep-water search operations to locate the wreckage and black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that plunged into the Mediterranean last week will start in the coming days, France's BEA air safety agency has said.
"A deep-water search campaign will begin in the coming days with the arrival in the accident area of the French navy surveillance vessel 'La Place'," said the BEA yesterday, which is working alongside the Egyptian authorities to investigate the May 19 crash.
All 66 people on board the flight from Paris to Cairo were killed. Investigators are still searching for the Airbus A320's two black boxes on the seabed as they seek answers as to why the aircraft went down.
Two BEA investigators were on board the La Place ship which yesterday set sail from Corsica.
The vessel is equipped with three deep-water devices known as Detector 6000s that can detect the black boxes' signals, the French agency said.
The Egyptian authorities "will be piloting these underwater searches" with the BEA's help, it added.
Talks are still under way meanwhile to add to the mission a second vessel equipped with a deep-sea exploration robot and the recovery capabilities required to work at an estimated depth of 3,000 metres.