US probe blames co-pilot in EgyptAir cra


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Nov 28, 2001
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US probe blames co-pilot in EgyptAir crash -report

Thursday March 14, 7:49 PM EST

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. investigators plan to release a final report within days blaming the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the coast of Massachusetts in 1999 on the actions of the jetliner's co-pilot, CBS News reported on Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board has rejected the Egyptian government's theory that a mechanical failure caused the crash, instead concluding that co-pilot Gamiel El Batouty caused the plane to plunge into the North Atlantic, CBS reported, citing unnamed sources.

The EgyptAir (EGY) crash on Oct. 31, 1999, killed all 217 people aboard.

CBS said the NTSB report does not address El Batouty's motives, but quoted an unnamed veteran crash investigator as saying the crash was seen as an intentional act.

The cockpit voice recorder, retrieved after the crash, showed that El Batouty was alone in the cockpit at the time the plane began its fatal plunge into the ocean, and that he repeatedly uttered in Arabic the words, "I rely on God," as the plane rapidly descended.

©2002 Reuters Limited.