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EgyptAir Flight MS804 Paris-Cairo Gone Off The Radar
USA Today reported that an EgyptAir flight on its way to Cairo from Paris went off radar Wednesday night, according to a tweet from the airline and from a journalist.
"An informed source at Egyptair stated that Flight no MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar," the tweet read.
There were 59 passengers on board and 10 crew members, according to the airline's Twitter feed.
The aircraft disappeared before entering Egyptian airspace. The three-and-a-half hour flight left at 11:21 p.m. Paris time, more than half an hour after its scheduled departure of 10:45 p.m., according to the Flight Aware website. It was expected to arrive in Cairo at 2:55 a.m., 15 minutes after its scheduled arrival of 2:40 a.m., according to Flight Aware. The plane's captain had 6,000 flying hours while the first officer had 4,000.
In an unrelated incident in March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked during a flight from Alexandria to Cairo. Egyptian Seif Eldin Mustafa, wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt, took over the aircraft and forced the pilots to fly to Cyprus, where he hoped to be reunited with his estranged wife. After a six-hour hostage drama, the hijacker was arrested after giving himself up. The "bomb" was later found to be fake, and no one was injured.
Key Developments so far
Ahmed Abdel, Vice-chairman of EgyptAir holding company, told CNN that there was "no distress call from the plane"
Egyptian and Greek military planes are looking for the missing EgyptAir flight.
"Egyptian aviation authorities have raised the alert level at Cairo airport," Sky News Arabia reported.
The EgyptAir A320 was at a height of 37,000 feet and disappeared after entering Egyptian airspace.
EgyptAir has published a list of most of those on board by nationality: 30 Egyptian, 15 French, 2 Iraqi, 1 British, 1 Belgian, 1 Sudanese, 1 Chadian, 1 Portuguese, 1 Algerian
Terminal 3 at Cairo International Airport has been closed off except for passengers. Other flights are operating normally. According to airport security, the families of passengers of the EgyptAir flight have been relocated to a lounge in terminal 1, where an emergency team is monitoring the situation.
EgyptAir has hosted the passengers' families near to Cairo Airport and has provided doctors, translators and all the necessary services.
EgyptAir says that the plane’s emergency devices (possibly an emergency locator transmitter or beacon) sent a distress signal that was received at 4.26am, some two hours after the previously stated last radar contact.
The Telegraph reports that the Egyptian aviation officials now say they believe flight MS804 crashed.
At12.33 IST, Egypt Air tweeted that The Egyptian Prime Minister is Following Up the situation of Flight MS804 from EGYPTAIR Crisis Center. Engineer Sherif Ismael, Egypt's Prime Minister arrived to EGYPTAIR crisis center at Cairo Airport to follow up the situation of EGYPTAIR flight MS804 heading from Paris to Cairo. Engineer Ismael was presented with a detailed briefing about the situation from the crisis team and he has directed all the concerned authorities to take all necessary action for dealing with the crisis. The Minister of Civil Aviation has arrived at EGYPTAIR Crisis Center after cutting his visit to Jeddah short. EGYPTAIR Crisis Center follows up the situation and urges the media resources to abide by the official news issued and sent by the company.
- A terror attack is the most likely cause of the crash, according to aviation experts.
- Greek airport sources say the crash site is off the Greek island of Karpathos.
Update on Friday 20, 2016
A massive search is continuing for a second day for an EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean. Greek, Egyptian, French and UK military units are taking part in the operation near Greece's Karpathos island. Greece said radar showed the Airbus A320 had made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000ft (7,620m) before plunging into the sea. Egypt says the plane was more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault.
Egypt's army spokesman said wreckage and passenger belongings had been found 290km (180 miles) from Alexandria. Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said a body part, two seats and at least one suitcase had been found. The items were found slightly to the south of the area where the plane disappeared from radars on Thursday, Mr Kammenos said.
The airline said it would provide more details as they become available.