EgyptAir Flight from Paris to Cairo Disappears
- By Sydny Shepard
- May 19, 2016
[UPDATE: May 19, 2016 3:55 p.m.]
EgyptAir Vice President states that the wreckage found before does not belong to flight MS804.
[UPDATE: May 19, 2016 12:05 p.m.]
Vice President of EgyptAir has confirmed that wreckage from the flight has been found in the Mediterranean Sea.
"An official source told the press that Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry has now received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs." EgyptAir tweeted.
"Floating materials found likely [belonging] to the wreckage and some life jackets and plastic materials." EgyptAir tweeted.
"Greek authorities found near the Greek island of Karpathos. Ongoing coordination with the Greek authorities to confirm the identity of the parts." EgyptAir tweeted.
Original story begins here:
An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo suddenly dropped in altitude and disappeared from radar at 2:45 a.m. Egyptian time.
Egyptian and Greek officials believe the plane might have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off the Greek island of Crete. Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos explained that EgyptAir flight 804 was 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian FIR and at an altitude of 37,000 feet when the plane suddenly turned 90 degrees to the left and then made a 360 degree turn to the right dropping to 15,000 feet. The radar lost connection with the plane when it descended lower than 10,000 feet.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it is too early to tell if the plane was downed by a mechanical issue or if it was the result of a terrorist attack. “We cannot rule anything out,” he told reporters at Cairo airport.
The cause of the jet attack is thought to be more likely terrorist than technical, an official told CNN, due to floating objects of unknown origin spotted near the supposed crash site. However, it could not be determined at the time if the objects were from flight 804.
Egyptian military denied having received a distress call suggesting that whatever happened on the plane was sudden and brief.
As a way to explore if a terrorist attack was responsible for the downed plane, Egyptian security officials are running background checks on all of the passengers to see if any of them had links to extremists.
The city’s prosecutor’s office in Paris has opened an investigation into the incident. “No hypothesis is favored or ruled out at this stage,” the office said in a statement.
In Cairo, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-sissi convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, the country’s highest security body. The council includes the prime minister and the defense, foreign and interior ministers, in addition to the chiefs of intelligence agencies.
Egyptian military aircraft and navy ships along with help Greece are now taking part in a search operation off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast to locate the debris of the plane, which was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two babies, and 10 crew members.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.