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As the world begins to open up again in the wake of a global pandemic that shut everything down, many people are adamant about getting back to traveling. However, there’s more to be cautionary about other than catching COVID-19 when it comes to commuting by airplane.

An infamous 2016 plane crash on EgyptAir made for a reminder that tragedy can strike at any given moment while in-flight, and new details in the investigation now reveal that it all could’ve been avoided if not for a cigarette that was lit by the pilot.

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A report provided by Italian news organization Corriere Della Sera concluded that pilot Ali Ali Shoukair sparked a cigarette while in the cockpit that caused a fatal chain reaction. In short, the small flame caused an emergency mask that was leaking oxygen to burst into flames and sent the plane on a downward spiral into the Mediterranean Sea. All 66 passengers and crew on board died as a result.

More details on what transpired in the years following, via TMZ:

“Egyptian pilots smoked frequently in the cockpit, and it wasn’t banned 6 years ago, at the time of the crash.

Egyptian authorities claimed at the time the plane was brought down in a terrorist attack … however, no group claimed responsibility.

It was also claimed explosives were found on the bodies of the crash victims, although that was late discredited.”

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The updated report was conducted by aviation experts in France, with the new findings being sent to the Court of Appeal in Paris. This will without question bring closure to many who lost family members, including mourner Julie Heslouin who said of the recent revelation, “We have been waiting since 2016 to understand why we lost our loved ones and officially no one told us anything.”

Although there’s no amount that can bring a family member back after an accident that proves to be 100% avoidable, we can only hope those who lost someone are properly compensated.

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