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Thu 16 Jun 2016 08:56 AM

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Search vessel identifies main locations of EgyptAir wreckage

Signals from the flight data recorders needed to track them down on the seabed are expected to expire on June 24

Search vessel identifies main locations of EgyptAir wreckage
The Mediterranean Sea, from the coastline of Alexandria, where search operations are taking place about 290 kilometres north to locate the wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS840, . (Getty Images)

The main locations of wreckage from the EgyptAir jet that crashed in the eastern Mediterranean last month have been identified by a deep ocean search vessel, the Egyptian-led investigation committee said Wednesday.

The John Lethbridge, a search boat contracted by the Egyptian government, is working against the clock to locate the "black boxes" that investigators say will help explain why Flight MS804 crashed on May 19, killing all 66 people on board.

Signals from the flight data recorders needed to track them down on the seabed are expected to expire on June 24.

The John Lethbridge has provided the first images of wreckage to investigators. A search team on board along with investigators will now draw a map of the wreckage's distribution spots, the committee said in a statement.

It was not immediately known which parts of the plane had been found, nor whether the two flight recorders were nearby. The recorders, one for voice and another for data, were contained in the tail of the Airbus A320.

Previously collected debris will also be handed over to the investigation committee after "standard procedures" are completed by prosecutors who are currently holding it for forensic evidence, the statement added.

To recover the black boxes some 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) below the sea surface, investigators will need to pinpoint the signals to within a few metres and establish whether the pingers are still connected to the recorders.

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