EgyptAir flight MS804: 'No survivors' as search team finds wreckage
An EgyptAir plane making the following flight from Paris to Cairo, after flight MS804 disappeared from radar, takes off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris,
EgyptAir has rowed back on an earlier announcement that wreckage belonging to MS804 had been spotted in the Mediterranean, close to the Greek island of Karpathos. “We stand corrected,” the airline’s vice-president Ahmed Adel said. The debris “is not our aircraft”.
The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered an immediate intensified search for EgyptAir MS804.
He has demanded that the civil aviation ministry, the army’s search and rescue centre, the navy, and the air force take all necessary measures to locate debris from the EgyptAir plane that disappeared early on Thursday.
Suspected debris from the downed Egyptair plane
In a statement issued by his office, Sisi also ordered an investigative committee formed by the civil aviation ministry to immediately start investigating the causes of the plane’s disappearance.
:: Flight MS804 set off from Paris to Cairo on Wednesday night, but vanished just under three-and-a-half hours after take-off from Charles de Gaulle Airport.
:: The flight, carrying 66 people, disappeared from radar 10 miles inside Egyptian air space at 2.45am Cairo time (12.45am GMT).
:: It crashed into the Mediterranean Sea about halfway between the Greek island of Crete and Egypt's coastline, or around 175 miles offshore.
:: There were 56 passengers on board, including a child and two babies, and 10 crew. The airline said the passengers included 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis and one each from Britain, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
:: The Briton on board has been named as father-of-two Richard Osman, originally from Carmarthen, Wales. His young brother Alastair described him as a kind and loving person and said Mr Osman had just become a father to a second daughter less than a month ago.
:: The Airbus A320 was built in 2003 and was flying at 37,000ft, the airline said.
:: The cause of the crash is unknown but officials have indicated it may have been a terror attack.
Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said the possibility it was a terror attack "is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure", while Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia's top domestic security agency, said: "In all likelihood it was a terror attack."
The Egyptian navy, air force and army are currently searching the sea to the north of Egypt’s coast, with French, Greek, British and US support.
Egypt’s aviation minister Sherif Fathy said terrorism was more likely than technical failure to be the cause of the crash.
No group has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft.
Debris found so far during the search for the missing EgyptAir flight MS804 does not belong to an aircraft, a senior Greek air safety official has said. Athanassios Binis, head of Greece's Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board, told state ERT TV "an assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft."
The plane made “sudden swerves” before dropping off radar over the Mediterranean, reportedly making a 90-degree turn left, and dropping from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet before swerving 360 degrees right.
Pilots of an Egyptian military plane take part in a search operation for the EgyptAir plane over the Mediterranean Sea
The plane was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew: two cockpit crew, five cabin crew and three security personnel. The airline said two babies and one child were on board. Among the passengers were 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, and one person each from the UK, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada.
An Egyptian military search boat takes part in the search operation for EgyptAir flight MS804
EgyptAir says the captain – named as Mohamed Said Shoukair –has 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 on the A320; the copilot, Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed, has 2,766. The plane was manufactured in 2003.
Search continues for plane wreckage
A huge hunt is underway in the Mediterranean for debris from the EgyptAir jet that swerved abruptly and disappeared from radar while carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo.
EgyptAir initially claimed debris and life jackets belonging to MS804 had been found near the Greek island of Karpathos, east of Crete, but airline vice-president Ahmed Adel later said “we stand corrected”.
He added that the recovered debris “is not our aircraft”.
Egypt was leading international efforts to find any wreckage of the plane, backed by France, Greece and Turkey. The US navy dispatched a P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft from a base in Sicily.
Egypt’s aviation minister, Sherif Fathi, said he did not want to prematurely draw conclusions, but added: “The possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure.”
the captain of the Maersk Ahram, a ship involved in the search and rescue operation for EgyptAir flight MS804, posted pictures showing an orange object floating in the sea
Retrieving the plane’s black box is likely to be a long and fraught operation. The head of Greece’s air traffic control board, Serafeim Petrou, told the Guardian it was a “fact the plane had crashed”, adding: “Most probably, and very unfortunately, it is at the bottom of the sea.”
Petrou said tracing the cause and retrieving wreckage would therefore take time. “Nothing can be excluded. An explosion could be a possibility but, then, so could damage to the fuselage,” he said.
EgyptAir flight MS804 crash: Airline says 'wreckage' found in search for plane in Mediterranean Sea
The Egyptian army says it has found wreckage of the missing Airbus 320 290km north of Alexandria
One possible cause of the crash is interference with the controls, with supporters of the theory citing the fact the pilot did not respond to contact from air traffic control shortly before the plane started veering dramatically and went down.
Captain Mike Vivian, former head of flight operations for the Civil Aviation Authority, told Radio 4’s Today programme there could have been a struggle on the flight deck.
One’s inclined to go towards the theory that there had been some interference on the aircraft, and on the flight deck, with the control of the aircraft"
Wreckage from an EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea has been found, the airline has said. A spokesperson said government officials had been informed of the discovery on Friday morning as searches for the Airbus A320 continued. “The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declaring the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804 near Karpathos Island,” a statement said.
A spokesperson said government officials had been informed of the discovery on Friday morning as searches for the Airbus A320 continued.
“The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declaring the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804 near Karpathos Island,” a statement said.
“EgyptAir sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers on board.”
Medical charity the Egyptian Red Crescent says it is supporting relatives of the passengers.
A team of 11 counsellors are at Cairo Airport, where a crisis centre has been set up for families.
Professor Moamena Kamel, Secretary General of Egyptian Red Crescent Society said:
All of us have been shocked by this tragic news, but for the Red Crescent, our immediate focus is on providing much needed support to the families and others who have been emotionally affected. Our teams will continue to provide psychosocial support in the days to come.”
International search teams were searching the Mediterranean Sea for wreckage after preliminary conclusions suggested the aircraft had crashed.
Flight MS804 left Charles De Gaulle Airport at 11.09pm (10.09pm BST) on Thursday, with 56 passengers, three EgyptAir security personnel and seven cabin crew members.
The airline tweeted that the plane lost contact with radar at 2.30am Cairo time (1.30am BST), while flying at cruise altitude of 37,000 feet. It was due to arrive in Cairo at 3.05am.
It said the pilot had logged 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 hours on the A320, and the co-pilot had logged 2,766 hours.
In March, a domestic EgyptAir flight with 72 passengers on board had to make an emergency diversion to Larnaca, Cyprus, after an alleged hijacking.
In October 2015, 224 people were killed when a Russian aircraft crashed over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula minutes after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The airline has also provided free contact numbers for families concerned for relatives. From outside of Egypt, anyone concerned should call + 202 25989320
EgyptAir debris, passenger belongings found: Egyptian military
EgyptAir turn social media pages black in tribute to missing plane
EgyptAir changed its Twitter page to black and white today
EgyptAir has turned its social media profiles to black in tribute to the missing plane this evening.
The airline’s logo, which is usually blue and white, has been changed to black and white on both its Twitter and Facebook page.
A banner now displays at the top showing the word MS804 - in reference to the number of the downed flight.