No survivours in Russian civilian flight crash in Egypt - embassy

An Airbus A321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia. Picture from the airline’s website

CAIRO, Oct. 31 (Aswat Masriya) – All 224 passengers and flight crew members on the Russian civilian flight that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday morning have “unfortunately” died, the Russian Embassy in Egypt said on its Facebook page.

Egypt has not officially made any announcements on the casualties.

The Russian plane, an Airbus A321 took off from South Sinai’s Sharm El-Sheikh resort city with 217 passengers and seven crew members on board at 5:51 am.

The flight was operated by Kogalymavia, which is privately owned, and officially changed its name to MetroJet several years ago. Airbus said on its website that the plane that crashed was produced in 1997 and has been operated by Metrojet since 2012.

Within minutes, air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane and it disappeared from radar after 23 minutes from take-off. The wreckage was found south of North Sinai’s al-Arish city.

The Egyptian civil aviation ministry said the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet when it disappeared.

Russia has declared a state of mourning on November 1. National flags will be lowered across the country and entertainment shows will be cancelled.

The cause of the crash remains unclear and Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Hossam Kamel said it is “premature” to decided on the cause of the crash, which is currently being  investigated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev “to form a state commission to investigate” the crash.

Russian authorities have the right to participate in the investigation, a source at the Egyptian aviation ministry source earlier said.

A team from the air crash investigation department at the ministry of civil aviation went to the site of the crash to inspect it and recover the black boxes, the source said.

 

Wreckage of Russian civilian flight found in Egypt’s North Sinai

CAIRO, Oct. 31 (Aswat Masriya) – The wreckage of a Russian plane that took off from South Sinai’s resort city Sharm El-Sheikh was found near North Sinai’s al-Arish city on Saturday morning, the Egyptian Civil Aviation ministry said.

The plane carried 224 passengers and crew and was on its way to St. Petersburg in Russia, the ministry said in a statement.

Air traffic controllers had lost contact with it minutes after it took off, aviation sources told Aswat Masriya, disappearing from the radar 23 minutes after take take-off at 5:51 am.

It was an Airbus A321 and was operated by the Russian airline Kogalymavia, also known as Kolavia.

The Egyptian government has ordered sending 50 ambulances to the site of the crash to transport the bodies of the deceased and to take those injured to hospital. There have been no official statements yet on the number of casualties.

Russian Ambassador to Cairo Serge Kirpichenko told Aswat Masriya that he is in contact with Egyptian authorities to find out the cause of the crash. He added that he is following up with Egyptian officials on what can be done to provide care for the injured and ship the bodies of the deceased back to Russia.

Cabinet held an urgent meeting to discuss the crash, with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail scheduled to go to the site of the crash. It also formed a working group, headed by Ismail, to follow up on the implications of the incident.

The cause of the plane crash remains unclear but security sources told Reuters that it does not appear to have been shot down or blown up.

A source at the Egyptian ministry of aviation said in press statements that the cause of the crash cannot be determined except after an investigation is complete, adding that the causes being cited in the media are only “speculation”.

A team from the air crash investigation department at the ministry of civil aviation went to the site of the crash to inspect it and recover the black boxes, the source said. He added that Russian authorities have the right to participate in the investigation.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following protests against his rule, but most attacks target security forces in North Sinai.

The resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh is a favorite toursit destination especially among Russians.

Egypt is currently trying to revive its tourism sector, which was a main source of income until years of political turmoil, triggered by an uprising in 2011, drove tourists away, taking its toll on the sector.

However, last month, the tourism sector was hit with a setback when Egyptian security forces mistakenly attacked a convoy of Mexican tourists in al-Wahat area in the Western desert, believing they were terrorists. A dozen people were killed in the incident, including eight Mexicans and four Egyptians.

CAIRO, Oct. 31 (Aswat Masriya) – Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev “to form a state commission to investigate” the crash of a Russian civilian plane on Egyptian soil Saturday morning, the Kremlin said.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and the health and tourism ministers have “moved to site of the crash” to follow the situation on the ground and oversee the evacuation of victims, the Cabinet said in a statement.

Russian flags will be lowered across the country and entertainment shows will be cancelled, after the Russian president signed off an order declaring November 1, a “day of mourning following the crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt,” the Kremlin announced on its website.

“Putin expressed his deepest condolences to the relatives of those killed in the crash,” according to the Kremlin. No official statements have been issued yet on the number of causalities.

An Airbus A321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia took off from South Sinai’s Sharm El-Sheikh resort city with 217 passengers and seven crew members on board at 5:51 am.

Within minutes, air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane and it disappeared from radar after 23 minutes from take-off. The wreckage was found south of North Sinai’s al-Arish city.

The cause of the incident remains unclear and the Egyptian aviation minister, Hossam Kamel was cited by the Cabinet as saying that it was “premature” to decide on the cause of the crash.

A team from the air crash investigation department at the ministry of civil aviation went to the site of the crash to inspect it and recover the black boxes, the source said.

Putin ordered the Russian minister for emergency situations to dispatch an aircraft to Egypt “in coordination with the Egyptian side to work at” the site of the crash.

Earlier, the Russian Ambassador to Cairo Serge Kirpichenko told Aswat Masriya that he is in contact with Egyptian authorities to find out the cause of the crash. He added that he is following up with Egyptian officials on what can be done to provide care for the injured and ship the bodies of the deceased back to Russia.

Kirpichenko has been briefed by Ismail on the ongoing Egyptian government’s efforts to manage the situation.

Russian authorities have the right to participate in the investigation, the aviation ministry source earlier said.

Russia declares mourning, Putin orders state commission to investigate plane crash in Egypt

This content is from :Aswat Masriya