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21st May 2016

These are the first images of debris from the EgyptAir plane crash

It includes part of plane seat, a lifejacket, and a tattered handbag.

The Egyptian Army has released photos and a video of the debris that has so far been recovered during the search for EgyptAir Flight MS804, which disappeared off radar early on Thursday.

The photos, which were posted on Facebook, show a section of a plane seat, wreckage from the body of the plane, and a lifejacket, while the video shows the items laid out on the deck of a Navy vessel.

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A handbag and a shoe can be seen among the debris.

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Elsewhere, French investigators have confirmed that smoke was detected in various parts of the cabin three minutes before it vanished off radar.

However, the cause of the plane’s disappearance is still not known. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Saturday that “all theories are being examined and none is favoured”.

Flight safety expert David Learmount explained the significance of the new findings in an interview with Radio 4.

“There’s a report of smoke in the forward lavatory [and] a minute later there’s smoke in the avionics bay, which is very worrying; and then two minutes later the flight control computers, one after the other, start to fail.

“Now the question we are left with is did this start with an ordinary electrical fault, a short circuit which started a fire, or was the fire started deliberately with a small explosion or an incendiary device?

“It could still be terrorism but it looks as if the aircraft went out of control because the controls were literally burning up. But we don’t know if it’s terrorism that started this or an electrical fault.”

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Greek air accident investigator Athanasios Binis said earlier on Saturday that the search is now focused on a 900-square mile area, some 290km north of Alexandria.

You can watch the Egyptian video of the recovered debris here:

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