Searchers reportedly detect signals of EgyptAir plane

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(CNN) — Airbus has detected signals from the Mediterranean Sea where EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed last week, Egypt’s state-run Al Ahram news agency reported Thursday.

The signals were emitted by the plane’s emergency locator transmitter, a device that can manually or automatically activate at impact and will usually send a distress signal.

Having the signals dramatically decreases the search area to a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) radius.

EgyptAir Flight 804 was at 37,000 feet when it lost contact above the Mediterranean early on May 19, shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek airspace and enter Egyptian airspace.

So far, some debris from the plane — including life vests, personal belongings and parts of wreckage — has been recovered. But the search is ongoing for the critical parts of the plane, including the fuselage, flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Signals from plane device?

The signals from the emergency locator transmitter, as reportedly identified by Airbus, are different from the pings emitted by the “black boxes.”