None of 224 passengers and crew on board a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday survived, medical and security sources said.
Search and rescue team members are still gathering the remains of victims, Reuters reported.
The plane – an Airbus A321-200 operated by Russian carrier Kogalymavia – also known as Metrojet – had reportedly split in two. Other bodies have been found strapped to their seats, as news reports continued to trickle in.
Earlier, Egyptian rescue teams reportedly heard voices from the plane, raising hopes that some might still be alive.
Most of the passengers on board are believed to be Russian tourists. Egyptian military planes spotted the wreckage of the aircraft, the government said.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian rescue teams to visit the site of the crash, while Egypt’s prosecutor general has ordered an investigation.
Russian officials have begun searching the Moscow offices of Kogalymavia, and have seized documents, Russian state TV reported.
“Military planes have discovered the wreckage of the plane . . . in a mountainous area, and 45 ambulances have been directed to the site to evacuate dead and wounded,” a cabinet statement said earlier.
Putin declared a day of mourning after the incident in Egypt.
The cause of the crash is not yet known. Kogalymavia said that it saw no grounds to blame human error for the crash of one of its airliners in Egypt, Russian news agencies reported.
RIA and Interfax news agencies cited an airline spokeswoman saying that the pilot had 12 000 hours flying experience. She also said that the plane had been fully serviced.
Egyptian air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to head to Russia, aviation sources told Reuters news agency earlier.
The plane was at an altitude of 31 000 feet when it vanished from radar screens, the civilian aviation ministry said in a statement.
Egyptian security sources said there was no indication that the plane had been shot down. Islamist militants are active in parts of Sinai.
Sergei Isvolsky, a spokesman for Russian aviation authority Rosaviatia, told Interfax news agency that the plane took off from Sharm el-Sheikh at 0351 GMT and ground contact with it was lost with it about 25 minutes later. – Al Arabiya News-Reuters-AFP.
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