Saturday, 31 October 2015

Breaking News!Russian airliner carrying 224 disappears after takeoff in Sinai

Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation said it lost contact with a Russian aircraft Saturday carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members over the restive Sinai peninsula, according to Egypt's state-run news agency.

A statement carried by the MENA agency said the plane took off from Sinai's Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular destination for Russian tourists, at 5:51 a.m. local time and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after takeoff.

It said the aircraft was bound for St. Petersburg in Russia and a search and rescue team is looking for the plane. Earlier in the day, an Egyptian official with the government's Incidents Committee told local media that the plane had briefly lost contact but was now safely in Turkish airspace.

Plane tracking website Flight Radar said Metrojet flight #7K9268 disappeared over Egypt 23 minutes after departure from Sharm el-Sheikh.

Turkish government spokesmen said they had no information about the missing Russian plane ever entering Turkish airspace. Air traffic control officials said they were not authorized to speak to the press. Officials from the Transport Ministry and the Civilian Air Transport Authority did not answer calls.

MENA said Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail had canceled a visit to the city of Ismailiya and formed an operations room to follow up on the situation.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook page that Russian Embassy personnel in Egypt are working to clarify the situation.
LA Times


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