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EgyptAir Flight MS804: Cockpit Voice Recorder Pulled From Sea

Alastair Jamieson and Charlene Gubash
An EgyptAir plane
Christian Hartmann | Reuters

One of the two "black boxes" has been recovered from the wreckage of Egyptair Flight MS804 which crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, investigators said Thursday.

The cockpit voice recorder — which could yield vital clues about the cause of the disaster — was damaged but retrieved "in several stages," the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said in a statement.

It will be handed over to technicians "to carry out analysis and unload the voice conversations," it said. The statement made no mention of the other "black box," the flight data recorder.

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The wreckage of the Airbus A320 was pinpointed on the ocean floor late Wednesday, almost a month after it crashed on route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard.

The voice recorder was found by the search vessel "John Lethbridge" — operated by U.S. company Deep Ocean Search — which was commissioned by the Egyptian government to help in the recovery.

Earlier this week, the Egyptian committee said it had received military radar images confirming that the jet deviated from its planned course and turned a full circle before disappearing. That contradicted previous statements that it disappeared off radar at a cruising altitude of about 37,000 feet.

The flight crashed May 19 between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast.