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Airbus confirms EgyptAir flight 804 ‘lost’ over Mediterranean

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Airbus confirms EgyptAir flight 804 ‘lost’ over Mediterranean

Egyptian prime minister says ‘we can exclude nothing at this time’ as Airbus A320-232 vanishes over eastern Mediterranean

Airbus confirmed one of its passenger jets had been lost in the early hours of Thursday morning as a search for an EgyptAir flight carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo was underway in the eastern Mediterranean.

 

The flight departed the French capital on Wednesday evening and lost contact with ground crews at 2.30am local time, about 10 miles (16km) inside Egyptian airspace.

The Egyptian prime minister, Sherif Ismail, said it was too early to rule out any explanation for the incident, including terrorism. “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause.”

The 12-year-old Airbus A320-232 was about 40 minutes from its destination. It was the aircraft’s fifth flight of the day, including journeys to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and Tunis.

The incident has renewed security concerns months after a Russian passenger plane was brought down over the Sinai Peninsula. The Russian plane crashed in Sinai on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The Egyptian navy, air force and coastguard are all involved in the search. Greece has also joined the search, sending two aircraft and a frigate, and said it had helicopters on standby in case rescue operations were necessary.

Greece aviation sources told Agence France-Presse it was believed the plane had crashed into the sea 150 miles (240km) off the southern Greek island of Karpathos while in Egyptian airspace.

“At around 0029 GMT (3:29 am) when it was in Egyptian airspace, the plane disappeared from Greek radars… it crashed around 130 nautical miles off the island of Karpathos,” the source said.

EgyptAir said among those on aboard were 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, two Iraqis and one person each from Britain, Canada, Belgium, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. There were also 10 crew, including three security personnel.

Source: Guardian

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