Egyptian Passenger Plane ‘Has Crashed’ En Route From Paris to Cairo

An EgyptAir passenger airplane, on a flight from Paris to Cairo early Thursday morning, has crashed according to Egyptian aviation officials cited by the Associated Press (AP).

Civil aviation spokesman Ihab Raslan, said the plane vanished about 10 miles after it had entered Egyptian airspace, so likely crashed into the Mediterranean, AP says.

Flight MS 804, which departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. and was due to land in Cairo at 3:15 a.m. local time, “disappeared from radar” en route, according to EgyptAir’s official Twitter account.

The airline tweeted that the Airbus A320 jet airliner was carrying a total of 66 people, including “1 child and 2 infants” as well as three security personnel and seven cabin crew. The airline has also posted a breakdown of the nationalities of passengers on the flight, including 30 Egyptians and 15 French passengers.
Ahmed Abdel, vice-chairman of EgyptAir’s holding company, told CNN that search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the area where the flight last made radar contact.

Abdel also said the pilot did not make a distress call, and authorities have so far given no indication that the plane — which was flying at 37,000 feet when it lost contact — was having technical trouble, leading to speculation it could have been the target of a terrorist attack.

In October last year, a Russian Metrojet aircraft carrying 224 passengers exploded in mid-air over the northern Sinai desert after departing from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh airport. The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria claimed responsibility for the apparent bomb attack.

In another incident in March, an Egyptian man with a fake suicide vest hijacked a domestic Egyptian flight and forced the pilot to divert to Cyprus. It turned out the hijacker was hoping the stunt would help him to reunite with his estranged wife.

This is a developing story and we will update as more details emerge.

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