The 2016 EgyptAir flight crash that killed all 66 people on board was caused by a cockpit fire that started as a result of the pilot’s cigarette, the investigation found. The pilot of the ill -fated MS804 lit a cigarette in the cockpit, causing an oxygen leak from a burning emergency mask, a French aviation expert report concluded, according to New York Post.
The 134 -page official report was sent to the Court of Appeal in Paris last month.
The report further said that Egyptian pilots regularly smoked in the cockpit and the practice was not banned by the airline at the time of the crash, a report in Yang Merdeka said.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera even claimed there was a hissing sound recorded by a microphone on the mask.
An Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo in May 2016. The plane crashed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, near the island of Crete, under mysterious circumstances.
Among those killed were 40 Egyptians and 15 Frenchmen. The plane also carried two Iraqis, two Canadians and one passenger each from Algeria, Belgium, Britain, Chad, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The aircraft only entered service in 2003, making it relatively new for aircraft that tend to have an operating life of 30 to 40 years.
It flew at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,000 meters) and disappeared about 130 nautical miles from the island of Karpathos in Greece.
A massive search operation was launched after the plane’s black box was found in deep waters near Greece.
Egyptian authorities had claimed at the time that the plane was brought down in a terrorist attack, but no terrorist group claimed responsibility.