EgyptAir Plane with 66 On Board Disappears Over Mediterranean
An EgyptAir plane en route to Cairo from Paris with 66 passengers and crewmembers on board disappeared while over the Mediterranean off the Greek island of Crete early Thursday morning.
“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 Twitter.
EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared shortly after entering Egyptian airspace. The plane, an Airbus A320, was traveling at an altitude of 37,000 feet and had 56 passengers and 10 crewmembers on board.
Air traffic controllers in Greece tried to reach the aircraft as it crossed Greek airspace but received no response. Once the plane crossed into Cairo airspace, it swerved sharply and plunged into the Mediterranean, Greece says.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. “We cannot rule anything out,” he told reporters at Cairo Airport, saying it was too early to say whether a terror attack had caused the plane to crash. The country’s civil aviation minister, Sherif Fathi, said that the likelihood of the cause having been a terror attack was “stronger” than technical failure, a sentiment echoed by the head of Russia’s top domestic security agency, according to Russian news agency reports.
A search-and-rescue mission involving specialist teams and the Egyptian armed forces is now underway and one plane has reportedly located several orange objects 230 miles (370 miles) south-southeast of Crete.
Seventeen years ago, EgyptAir Flight 990 from Los Angeles International Airport to Cairo with a stop at John F. Kennedy International Airport crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Nantucket Island. All 217 people on board were killed.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)