French probe into Sinai crash to start Tuesday

7th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CAIRO, May 7, 2007 (AFP) - A French military probe into the deadly crash of an aircraft carrying peacekeepers in Egypt's northern Sinai region is to begin work on Tuesday, French officials said.

CAIRO, May 7, 2007 (AFP) - A French military probe into the deadly crash of an aircraft carrying peacekeepers in Egypt's northern Sinai region is to begin work on Tuesday, French officials said.

"The commission from the defence ministry's air accidents investigation bureau will arrive late Monday," an official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.

The panel consisting of around 15 experts will then fly from Cairo to the northern Sinai base of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Al-Gurah to start their inquiry.

Nine MFO personnel, eight French and one Canadian, were killed when their small transport plane crashed in central Sinai on Sunday.

The French official said the bodies were not to be repatriated before the end of the investigation, which is expected to last at least three days.

According to Egyptian security officials, the pilots reported a technical failure which forced them to attempt an emergency landing on a road.

The small Twin Otter aircraft had one of its wings clipped by a truck carrying large containers before eventually crashing into the side of a hill, the sources and witnesses said.

An Egyptian aviation official suggested the crash may have been caused by the pilot's failure to respect minimum flight altitudes.

The crash caused the heaviest casualties ever suffered by the MFO since it was established in the Sinai peninsula to monitor security provisions of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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