“Missing Russian Plane” Crashed In Egypt, All 224 Passengers Killed

Plane crashA Russian airliner has crashed in central Sinai killing all 224 people on board, Egyptian officials have said.

The Airbus A-321 had just left the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, bound for the Russian city of St Petersburg.

Wreckage was found in the Hasana area and bodies removed, along with the plane’s “black box”. An official described a “tragic scene” with bodies of victims still strapped to seats.

Egypt’s prime minister said no “irregular” activities were to blame.

Sinai has an active militant network, and on Saturday afternoon, jihadis allied to the so-called Islamic State made a claim on social media that they brought down flight KGL9268.

Plane crash

But Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov told Interfax news agency that “such reports cannot be considered true”. No evidence had been seen that indicated the plane was targeted, he said.

Egypt’s civilian aviation ministry said the plane had been at an altitude of 9,450m (31,000ft) when it disappeared.

Security experts say a plane flying at that altitude would be beyond the range of a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (Manpad), which Sinai militants are known to possess.

But the German carrier Lufthansa said it would avoid flying over Sinai “as long as the cause for today’s crash has not been clarified”. On Saturday evening, Air France said it was following suit.

British Airways and easyJet said their routes were regularly reviewed, but that they had no plans to alter their routes to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Sunday a day of mourning.

He has ordered an official investigation into the crash of the flight, and for rescue teams to be sent to the crash site.

Egyptian officials said 214 of the passengers were Russian and three Ukrainian.

Russian authorities say the plane was carrying 217 passengers, 138 of them women and 17 children aged between 2 and 17. Most were tourists. There were seven crew on board.

A commission headed by Mr Sokolov left for Egypt on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Credit: BBC

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