Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Egyptian Plane with 66 Aboard Crashes; Terrorism Suspected

The crash also renewed security concerns surrounding Egyptian planes and airports

An EgyptAir Airbus A320 with the registration SU-GCC on the tarmac at Cairo airport, photo: AirTeamImages via AP
1 year ago

An EgyptAir jetliner bound from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard crashed in the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday, and Egypt’s aviation minister said the disaster was more likely the result of a terrorist attack than a technical problem.

There were no immediate signs of any survivors.

EgytAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320 with 56 passengers and 10 crew members, went down about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt’s northern coastline after takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport, authorities said.

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said the plane made abrupt turns and suddenly lost altitude just before vanishing from radar screens around 2:45 a.m. Egyptian time.

He said the aircraft was at altitude of 37,000 feet, made a 90-degree left turn, then a full 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet. It was lost at about 10,000 feet, he said.

An Egyptian search plane later located two orange items believed to be from the aircraft, 230 miles southeast of Crete, a Greek military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Cairo, Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi cautioned that the disaster is still under investigation. But he said: “The possibility of having a different action or a terror attack is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure.”

The airline said the Egyptian military had received an emergency signal from the aircraft, an apparent reference to an Emergency Locator Transmitter, a battery-powered device designed to automatically give out a signal in the event of a crash or sudden loss of altitude.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail talks to reporters at Cairo International Airport, Thursday, May 19, 2016. He said it was too early to say whether a technical problem or a terror attack caused the plane to crash. "We cannot rule anything out," he said. An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board crashed in the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning, Egyptian aviation officials said. (AP Photo/Selman Elotefy)

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail talks to reporters at Cairo International Airport, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Photo: AP/Selman Elotefy

The Egyptian military said it did not receive a distress call, and Egypt’s state-run daily Al-Ahram quoted an unidentified airport official as saying the pilot did not send one. The absence of a distress call suggests that whatever sent the aircraft plummeting into the sea was sudden and brief.

Egyptian security officials said they were running background checks on the passengers to see if any had links to extremists.

Those on board, according to EgyptAir, included 15 French passengers, 30 Egyptians, two Iraqis, one Briton, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Belgian, one Algerian and one Canadian.

Egyptian military aircraft and ships searched for debris and victims from the plane, whose passengers included a child and two babies, officials said. Greek and French authorities also joined the operation.

Whatever caused the crash, the disaster is likely to deepen Egypt’s woes as the country struggles to revive its ailing economy, particularly the lucrative tourism sector that has been battered by the turmoil in which the country has been mired since a 2011 popular uprising.

The crash also renewed security concerns surrounding Egyptian planes and airports. A Russian passenger plane crashed in the Sinai last October, killing all 224 people aboard. Moscow said the aircraft was brought down by a bomb, and a local branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

French President François Hollande held an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace. He also spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi by telephone and agreed to “closely cooperate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances” surrounding the disaster, according to a statement.

In Cairo, el-Sissi convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, the country’s highest security body. It includes the defense, foreign and interior ministers, in addition to the chiefs of the intelligence agencies.

In Paris, the city prosecutor’s office opened an investigation. “No hypothesis is favored or ruled out at this stage,” it said in a statement.

About 15 relatives of passengers arrived at the Cairo airport, and authorities brought doctors to the scene after several distressed family members collapsed.

In Paris, relatives started arriving at De Gaulle Airport outside the French capital.

A man and a woman, identified by airport staff as relatives of passengers, sat at an information desk near the EgyptAir counter. The woman sobbed, holding her face in a handkerchief. The pair were led away by police.

The Airbus A320 is a widely used twin-engine plane that operates on short and medium-haul routes. Nearly 4,000 A320s are in use around the world.

The last deadly crash involving one of the planes was in March 2015, when one of the pilots of a Germanwings flight deliberately slammed it into the French Alps, killing all 150 people aboard.

Airbus said the aircraft in Thursday’s disaster was delivered to EgyptAir in 2003 and had logged 48,000 flight hours. The pilot had more than 6,000 hours of flying time, authorities said.

In March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. A man described by authorities as mentally unstable was taken into custody.

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
World

Russia: Relations with US Poor Over 'Rus ...

14 hours ago
Business

Not Home? Walmart Wants to Walk in and S ...

14 hours ago
Living

Post-Quake Threats: How to Avoid Them

15 hours ago
World

Turkey says It Won't Accept Kurdish Inde ...

15 hours ago
Most Popular

7.1 Magnitude Quake Kills 139 as Buildui ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Oaxaca Struck by 6.2 Quake

By The News
Mexico

How You're Helping This Weekend

By Federico Rojas Frias
Living

Earthquake Death Toll Continues to Rise

By The News
Mexico

Post-Quake Threats: How to Avoid Them

By The News
Living