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Britain sends ship, plane to look for EgyptAir

Middle East News
Thu, 19 May 2016
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Britain is sending a military ship and a plane to join the search for EgyptAir Flight 804, which Egyptian officials say has crashed into eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says he has dispatched Royal Navy support ship RFA Lyme Bay, which is in the Mediterranean, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Royal Air Force base Akrotiri in Cyprus to support the Egyptian-led effort. He says "we stand ready to offer further assistance" if needed.
Britain says one U.K. citizen was among the 66 people aboard the flight Thursday from Paris to Cairo.


Kuwait's Foreign Ministry has identified a Kuwaiti feared dead in the EgyptAir plane crash in the Mediterranean Sea.
A ministry statement carried Thursday afternoon by the state-run Kuwait News Agency named the missing passenger as Abdulmohsen al-Muteiri. It offered no other details about al-Muteiri.
The statement quoted Sami al-Hamad, an assistant foreign minister for consular affairs, as saying Kuwait had been in touch with Egyptian authorities over the crash.
The EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board crashed Thursday morning in the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek island of Crete. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has said it is too early to say whether a technical problem or a terror attack caused the Airbus A320 to crash.


Among passengers on missing EgyptAir Flight 804 was a student training at a French military school who was heading to his family home in Chad to mourn his mother.
The protocol officer for Chad's embassy in Paris, Muhammed Allamine, said the man "was going to give condolences to his family." Allamine said the man, who wasn't identified, was a student at France's prestigious Saint-Cyr army academy.
"It breaks my heart," said one friend, Madji Samaan.
Passengers arriving for the 3:45 p.m. EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo faced heavy gray curtains drawn over the departure hall and journalists waiting outside. Most of those interviewed stayed stoic, saying it didn't make sense to cancel their plane trip out of fear — even if many acknowledged being a little rattled.
Officials say EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday with 66 people on board.


A Greek military official says an Egyptian search plane has located two orange items believed to be from the missing EgyptAir flight.
The official says the items were found 230 miles (370 kilometers) south-southeast of the island of Crete but still within the Egyptian air traffic control area. One of the items was oblong, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.
Russian security official Alexander Bortnikov says "in all likelihood it was a terror attack" that caused EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo to crash into the Mediterranean early Thursday with 66 people on board.


Greek military official says search plane has located two orange items believed to be from the EgyptAir flight.


The head of Russia's top domestic security agency says the crashed Egyptian jet has apparently been brought down by a terror attack. Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday that "in all likelihood it was a terror attack" causing the crash of the EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board, according to Russian news agencies.
Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, called for a joint action to track down those responsible for that "monstrous attack."
Last October, a Russian plane flying from Egypt crashed into the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device.


Greek defence minister Panos Kammenos said EgyptAir flight 804 made abrupt turns and suddenly lost altitude just before vanishing from radar at around 2.45 a.m. Egyptian time.
Kammenos said the aircraft was 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian FIR and at an altitude of 37,000 feet. "It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360 degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet," he said.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail 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 told reporters at Cairo airport.


Exploring the possibility that a terror attack brought down the aircraft, Egyptian security officials said they were running background checks on the passengers to see if any of them had links to extremists.


An EgyptAir flight which disappeared from radar screens en route from Paris to Cairo early Thursday, crashed into the sea off the southern Greek island of Karpathos while in Egyptian airspace, a Greece aviation source told AFP. "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 told AFP.

The official said the last communication with the pilot was three minutes before the plane disappeared, and that there had been no distress call. The Greek defence ministry said it had dispatched two search planes and a frigate to the area.

Twenty-six foreigners were among the 56 passengers, including 15 French citizens, a Briton and a Canadian, EgyptAir said.


France's transport chief says there were 3 Egyptian security officers on EgyptAir flight.


Egypt's Prime Minister says search operations underway, too early to say what happened to missing plane


'Distress message' had been sent from vanished flight: EgyptAir


Egyptian aviation officials say an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board has crashed.


France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday "no theory can be ruled out" in the missing EgyptAir flight which disappeared en route to Cairo from Paris.


Navy ships and fighter jets have deployed in search for missing jet


EGYPTAIR has hosted the passengers' families near to Cairo Airport and has provided doctors, translators and all the necessary services.

— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016

Cairo: Egypt's Aviation Ministry said 30 Egyptians, 15 French, one Briton and a Belgian were among the 66 people on board an EgyptAir flight that went missing en route from Paris to Cairo on Thursday.

Airline and Egyptian aviation officials said earlier they believed the Airbus A320 had crashed into the sea. It was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew.

EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo had gone missing on Thursday, disappearing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea."

An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar," the airline said on its official Twitter account.

Later Tweets by EgyptAir said the plane, which was travelling at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters), disappeared soon after entering Egyptian airspace. The Airbus A320 aircraft was carrying 59 passengers and 10 crew, it said.

According to, the plane's last known position was above the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt's civil aviation ministry said search and rescue teams were looking for the missing jet. A ministry source also said technical information about the condition of the plane was being gathered.

With its ancient archaeological sites and Red Sea resorts, Egypt is a popular destination for Western tourists. But the industry was badly hit following the downing of a Russian jet last year, the ongoing Islamist insurgency and a string of bomb attacks in the country.

An Airbus A321 operated by Russia’s Metrojet crashed in the Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015, killing all 224 people on board. Russia and Western governments have said the plane was likely brought down by a bomb, and the Islamic State militant group said it had smuggled an explosive device on board.

Reuters reported in January that an EgyptAir mechanic, whose cousin joined Islamic State in Syria, is suspected of planting the bomb, according to sources familiar with the matter.

In March, an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus by a man with what authorities said was a fake suicide belt. He was arrested after giving himself up.

EgyptAir has a fleet of 57 Airbus and Boeing jets, including 15 of the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, according to

The last fatal incident involving an EgyptAir aircraft was in May 2002, when a Boeing 737 crashed into a hill while on approach to Tunis–Carthage International Airport, killing 14 people.

In October 1999, the first officer of a Boeing 767 deliberately crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 217 people on board.

France's aviation authority could not be reached immediately for comment.

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