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Ship Picked Up Pings From EgyptAir Flight Recorder, Investigators Say

Some of the passengers' belongings and parts of the wreck of EgyptAir flight MS804 are seen as more wreckage found north of Alexandria, in Egypt on May 21. On Wednesday French and Egyptian investigators announced a ship had picked up a ping that appears to be from a flight recorder from the plane, which crashed on May 19.

A French ship has detected signals from a flight recorder for EgyptAir MS804, the plane that crashed into the Mediterranean nearly two weeks ago, according to Egyptian officials and a French company.

Egypts Civil Aviation Ministry said Wednesday a ship picked up pings from deep underwater that seemed to be either the data or voice recorder.

A statement from Alseamar confirmed that the ship Laplace picked up a signal Wednesday, less than a day after it started searching for the recorders, The Associated Press reports.

"The French air accident investigation agency BEA said it's impossible to determine from the signals whether it is the flight's data or voice recorder," the AP noted.

The clock is ticking for search teams to find the recorders, also known as "black boxes," Reuters reports:

"Without the black boxes, say investigators and aviation disaster experts, there is not enough information to determine what went wrong or whether the plane was brought down deliberately.

"The recorders are designed to emit acoustic signals for 30 days after a crash, giving search teams fewer than three weeks to spot them in waters up to 9,840-feet deep, which is on the edge of their range."

The plane went missing on May 19, en route from Paris to Cairo, without sending a distress signal.

The next day, debris from the flight was discovered north of Alexandria and investigators determined the plane crashed into the Mediterranean. All 66 people aboard are presumed dead.

The cause of the crash is unknown. Investigators have previously said they have not ruled out the possibility of terrorism or of a technical malfunction.

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