Human remains retrieved from EgyptAir 804 indicate the plane suffered an explosion before crashing, Egyptian investigators said on Tuesday.
The fatal crashing of Flight MS804, which was lost over the Mediterranean last Thursday, has prompted speculation of terrorism, despite no claims of responsibility from ISIS or other known terror organizations.
All 66 on board, including 56 passengers and 10 crew members, perished in the crash.
A member of the Egyptian team investigating the crash told AP that some 80 pieces of human remains had been recovered thus far and transferred to a Cairo morgue.
The investigator noted that the pieces were all quite small in size, indicating that a sizable explosion had occurred onboard the plane.
“[T]here isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head. The logical explanation is that it was an explosion."
An investigator from the Lockerbie Bombing, Phil Giles, said that other evidence backed up the claim of an explosion prior to the crash, saying that the plane likely broke up at high altitude. He suggested that a technical failure was unlikely, and that a bomb or missile was the most likely cause.
“All the evidence so far, including the pictures, indicates that the aircraft broke up at altitude rather than when it impacted the sea,” Giles told The Independent. “Aircraft do infrequently break up as a function of severe weather, however, this wasn't a factor in this accident. Modern aircraft such as the A320 don't have a habit of suffering major structural failure unless there is some external factor like a BUK missile as in the case of MH17, or an internal device.”
Conflicting reports of the plane’s trajectory prior to the crash have clouded investigations seeking to discover the cause of Flight MS804’s demise.
According to the Greek Defense Ministry, the plane was observed taking a hard, 90-degree turn, followed by a 360-degree turn prior to the crash.
But an Egyptian aviation official denied the claim, saying investigators had no evidence to back up claims made by the Greek government.
While Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has stated that “all scenarios are possible”, Egyptian aviation officials have said that terrorism appeared more likely than mechanical failure.