A search vessel has found wreckage from EgyptAir Flight MS804 — with only days to go before signal transmitters were expected to expire — the Egyptian committee investigating the crash said Wednesday.
Flight MS804, an Airbus A320, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19 with 66 people aboard.
A multinational team has been racing to find its remains before the batteries in location equipment run out of power, which authorities have said would happen sometime next week.
A line shows the flight path of EgyptAir Flight MS804
The John Lethbridge, a French research vessel equipped with an underwater robot, identified several locations of wreckage and has provided the Egyptian investigative committee with initial images, the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said.
Investigators aboard the vessel will provide maps of the areas the wreckage is likely to be spread over, it said.
No other information was expected to be provided before Thursday, officials told NBC News.
Egyptian officials have said the plane disappeared off radar at a cruising altitude of about 37,000 feet while en route from Paris to Cairo. They said this week that they had received Egyptian military radar images confirming that it deviated from its planned course and turned a full circle before disappearing.
EgyptAir Crash Black Boxes Will Stop 'Pinging' in 10 Days: Investigators
The "black boxes" from an EgyptAir jet that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea last month are expected to stop emitting signals on June 24, investigators said.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) likely hold vital information about what caused Flight MS804 to crash on May 19, killing all 66 people on board.
The task of recovering the devices from the sea floor would be much harder without the battery-powered "pings" indicating their location.
Egypt's Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee also said it had accepted a request by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to have an American representative join the investigation team because the Airbus A320's engines were built by a consortium that includes Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney.
What's in a Black Box
In a statement issued Monday, the agency said it had received Egyptian military radar images confirming that the aircraft deviated from its planned course and turned a full circle before disappearing on route from Paris to Cairo. "This comes in accordance with [earlier] British and Greek radar images," it said.
Egyptian officials had previously said that the plane suddenly disappeared off the radar at cruising altitude around 37,000 feet.
France's air accident investigation agency, which is advising Egypt on the underwater search, has said that one of the search ships has continued to pick up "ping'"signals from one black box whose position has been narrowed to within just over a mile.
To recover the black boxes from the seabed, almost 10,000 feet below the surface, investigators will need to pinpoint the signals to within a few meters and establish whether the "pingers" are still connected to the devices.