An EgyptAir flight traveling to Cairo from Paris crashed early on May 19 with 66 passengers and crew members on board, Egyptian aviation officials confirmed.
Reports say the plane had probably crashed into the sea off the southern Greek island of Karpathos.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it is not clear yet whether it was a technical issue or a terror attack. He said, “We cannot rule anything out.”
Jean-Paul Troadec, the former chief of France’s air accident investigation unit, the BEA, said the disappearance suggested a “brutal event” and was “almost certainly” caused by “an attack.
The plane made “sudden swerves” before it came down, the Greek defence minister has said.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail talks to reporters at Cairo International Airport indianexpress
The plane was carrying 66 people. 30 passengers are from Egypt and 15 are from France.
Flight 804, an Airbus A320, was lost from radar at 2:45 a.m. Cairo time (8:45 p.m. EDT) when it was flying at 37,000 feet 175 miles north of the Egyptian coast, the airline said.
Egyptian military had said in a statement they didn’t receive any distress calls from the plane.
Airbus has issued a statement confirming that MS804 was lost over the Mediterrean at 2.30am local time.
Airbus said the aircraft was delivered to Egyptair from the production line in November 2003. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 48,000 flight hours. It was powered by IAE engines.
Greece sent two aircraft to join the search and rescue operation: one C-130 and one early warning aircraft, officials at the Hellenic National Defense General Staff said. They said one frigate was also heading to the area, and helicopters are on standby on the southern island of Karpathos for potential rescue or recovery operations.
French president Francois Hollande spoke with Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on the phone and agreed to “closely cooperate to establish as soon as possible the circumstances” in which the EgyptAir flight disappeared, according to a statement issued in Paris.
Francois Hollande has express sympathy with relatives on those on board the missing plane mirror
In March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. A man who admitted to the hijacking and was described by Cypriot authorities as “psychologically unstable” is in custody.