Egypt Air Tragedy Another Hit to Tourism; LUXOR, Egypt -- Egyptian Military Forces Recovered Wreckage from an EgyptAir Jetliner on Friday, a Day after It Vanished While Flying from Paris to Cairo. [Derived Headline]

By Hiel, Betsy | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 21, 2016 | Go to article overview

Egypt Air Tragedy Another Hit to Tourism; LUXOR, Egypt -- Egyptian Military Forces Recovered Wreckage from an EgyptAir Jetliner on Friday, a Day after It Vanished While Flying from Paris to Cairo. [Derived Headline]


Hiel, Betsy, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


LUXOR, Egypt -- Egyptian military forces recovered wreckage from an EgyptAir jetliner on Friday, a day after it vanished while flying from Paris to Cairo.

The debris, floating in the Mediterranean Sea about 180 miles north of the coastal city of Alexandria, included luggage, aircraft seats and body parts, EgyptAir officials reported.

A multinational search began early Thursday after Greek air traffic controllers lost contact with the passenger jet as it entered Egyptian airspace.

The Aviation Herald, a website that covers the civil aviation industry, reported Friday that sensors detected smoke in a lavatory, suggesting a fire on board before the aircraft went down.

The publication cited information transmitted through the plane's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which transmits data from the plane to the ground in the form of a series of messages. Those messages showed that smoke was detected in the plane's lavatory near the cockpit, according to the report.

U.S. Navy ships and P-3 Orions, a long-range maritime surveillance plane, have joined the search.

Investigators hope the Airbus A320's "black box" flight recorders will explain why it plunged into the sea, but those likely are 8,000 to 11,000 feet underwater with the bulk of the wreckage.

A French Navy patrol boat left the port of Toulon on Friday with sonar that can pick up the underwater "pings" emitted by the recorders. But it will take the vessel two or three days to reach the search zone.

French authorities are examining footage from thousands of surveillance cameras at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, from which the doomed flight departed, looking for suspicious activity or known terrorism suspects.

Egyptian Aviation Minister Sharif Fathy has said terrorism was more likely to be the cause of the crash than a "technical error."

As officials searched for wreckage, Egyptians dependent on tourism fear their livelihoods will suffer anew because of the air disaster.

"All the people are scared to come here -- they must get on a plane, and now they will be scared," said Adel Ahmed Omar, 30, owner of Asia Shop, which sells faux Pharaonic trinkets near Luxor's Karnak Temple, one of Egypt's most-visited tourist sites.

"Business is zero," he said. "I opened in the morning and by this afternoon I haven't sold anything. …

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