French investigators confirmed that they have found the black box recorder from the EgyptAir flight that crashed into the Mediterranean last month. Debris and human remains have been found in the search for the plane, but until today the black box and main wreckage remained missing.

Earlier, the French navy surveillance vessel Laplace reported detecting possible signals from the black box in the 3 mile (5km) area in the Mediterranean that has become the focus of searches, Egyptian officials said in a statement.

French investigators have now confirmed to AFP that the black box had been detected.

Locator pings from flight data and cockpit voice recorders, or black boxes, can be detected from deep underwater. The French vessel Laplace is fitted with special detectors to pick up such signals.

The plane crashed with 66 people on board on 19 May, en route from Paris to Cairo.