0311 GMT July 19, 2019
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry said on Wednesday that the vessel Laplace received the signals while on a mission in the Mediterranean, citing a statement by the committee investigating the crash.
The Egyptian statement said Laplace's equipment picked up the “signals from the seabed of the wreckage search area, assumed to be from one of the data recorders,” adding that a second ship, John Lethbridge, affiliated with the Deep Ocean Search firm, will join the search team later this week.
The French Navy confirmed the retrieve of the signals “overnight” on Tuesday, saying the Laplace had arrived in the search area hours earlier. It said the location and identification of the source of the signals have not been determined yet and that searches are still at an “early stage.”
Locator pings emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders, known as the black boxes, can be picked up from deep underwater. The Laplace is equipped with three detectors which enables it to detect and localize signals from the flight recorders, which are believed to be at a depth of about 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) underwater.
Egypt Air officials hailed the findings as a great development in the search for their missing Airbus A320, saying “the job has been done now.”
“We have to find where the boxes are exactly and decide on how to pull them out,” Shaker Kelada, who has led other crash investigations for the carrier, said, adding he was confident the boxes will be retrieved.
All the 66 people onboard the Egyptian plane, which was flying from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo, are believed to have been killed in the incident in eastern Mediterranean on May 19.