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Black box data confirm smoke on EgyptAir flight

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CAIRO — Data from one of the black boxes of a crashed EgyptAir plane showed smoke alarms had sounded on board, while soot was found on the wreckage, Egyptian investigators said on Wednesday.

The black box was recovered from the base of the Mediterranean. It had recorded the flight’s information from its takeoff until it “ceased at a height of 37,000 feet (11,250 meters),” an Egyptian investigating committee said in a statement.

The flight from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean on May 19 for reasons that remain unknown. The pilots made no distress call, and no militant group has claimed to have brought down the plane.

The committee said that a recovered flight data recorder, one of the plane’s black boxes, showed that there was smoke in the lavatory and onboard equipment. “Recorded data is showing a consistency with ACARS messages of lavatory smoke and avionics smoke,” it said.

The second black box, a cockpit recorder, was damaged in the crash and is being repaired in Paris. The wreckage was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea floor earlier this month. The bulk of the wreckage is believed to be at a depth of about 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).

The committee said deep ocean search teams are still working to find and recover human remains.

French authorities opened a manslaughter inquiry on Monday, but said there is no evidence so far to link the crash to terrorism.

EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared from radar about 2:45 a.m. local time on May 19 between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast.

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With Inputs from AP

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

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