It’s too early to rule out either terrorism or a technical failure for the sudden disappearance of Airbus A320, said Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi.
Panos kammenos, Greece’s defense minister says the Egypt Air flight made 2 abrupt turns and suddenly lost altitude prior plunging into the Mediterranean Sea – The Airbus A320 turned 90 degree left and a 360-degree turn to the right and dropped more than 20,000 ft (6,700m) before it lost connection from radar.
A major search operation is happening in entire seas, south of Greek Island of Karpathos for 66 passengers on board. Greek and Egyptian Governments are involved in search efforts and France has offered boats and planes for the same.
There was 56 passengers, and 7 crew members and 3 security personnel on board.
Airbus MS804 left Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at 23:09 local time on Wednesday (21:09 GMT) and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital soon after 03:15 local time on Thursday.
EgyptAir said the plane had been flying at 11,300m (37,000ft) when it lost connect from radar shortly after entering Egyptian airspace.
Aviation officials say AT controllers spoke to the pilot when he came into Greek airspace and everything seemed normal.
Officials tried to speak to him again at 02:27 Cairo time, as the Flight was scheduled to enter Egyptian airspace, but “Even though calling repeatedly, there was no response from the aircraft”. Few minutes later it disappeared from radar.
Why is terrorism suspected?
In 2015 October, Flight A321 run by Russia’s Metrojet was blown by a bomb over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, instantly killing all 224 people on board. A local associate of the jihadist militant group Islamic State (IS), called Sinai Province, said it had smuggled a device on board.
An EgyptAir plane too was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus in 2015 March. Cypriot authorities still keep “psychologically unstable” man who did this, in custody
EgyptAir flight MS804 – Passengers’ nationalities
- 30 Egyptians
- 15 French citizens
- 2 Iraqis
- 1 from Britain, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal.