41869
EgyptAir Jet Vanishes After Plunge Over Mediterranean
International

EgyptAir Jet Vanishes After Plunge Over Mediterranean

An EgyptAir jet carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean on Thursday in a crash that Egypt said may have been caused by a terrorist attack.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation for the crash, including an attack like the one blamed for bringing down a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula last year.
The country’s aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely than a technical failure, Reuters reported.
The Egyptian civil aviation ministry initially said Greek authorities had found “floating material” and life jackets likely to be from the plane, an Airbus A320 370 km south of the island of Crete.
However, late on Thursday, EgyptAir Vice President Ahmed Adel told CNN that the wreckage had not been found.
“We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on,” Adel said.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the civil aviation ministry, the army’s search and rescue center, the navy and the air force to take all necessary measures to locate debris from the aircraft.
In a statement issued by his office, Sisi also ordered an investigative committee formed by the civil aviation ministry to immediately start investigating the causes of the plane’s disappearance.
Officials from multiple US agencies told Reuters that a US review of satellite imagery so far had not produced any signs of an explosion aboard the EgyptAir flight.
The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the conclusion was the result of a preliminary examination of imagery and cautioned against media reports suggesting the United States believed a bomb was responsible for the crash.
They said the United States has not ruled out any possible causes for the crash, including mechanical failure, terrorism or a deliberate act by the pilot or crew.
Amid uncertainty about what downed the plane, Los Angeles International Airport became the first major US air transportation hub to say it was stepping up security measures.
“In light of the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight MS804, we have heightened our security posture and enhanced our counter-terrorism security measures,” the Los Angeles Airport Police said in a statement.
Greece had deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing plane. Egypt said it would lead the investigation and France would participate. In Washington, President Barack Obama received a briefing on the disappearance from his adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, the White House said.
A White House spokesman said it was too early to know the cause of the crash and offered condolences.
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said the Airbus swerved 90 degrees to the left, spun through 360 degrees to the right and plunged from 37,000 feet to 15,000 before vanishing from Greek radar screens.
According to Greece’s civil aviation chief, calls from Greek air traffic controllers to flight MS804 went unanswered just before it left Greek airspace and it disappeared from radar screens soon afterwards.
There was no official indication of a possible cause, whether technical failure, human error or sabotage. Ultra-hardline militants have targeted airports, airliners and tourist sites in Europe, Egypt, Tunisia and other Middle Eastern countries over the past few years.
Asked if he could rule out terrorist involvement, the Egyptian premier told reporters: “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause.”
The aircraft was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two infants, and 10 crew, EgyptAir said. They included 30 Egyptian and 15 French nationals, along with citizens of 10 other countries.
The Canadian government said on Thursday two Canadian citizens were aboard and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Canadian officials were working with authorities to confirm if any other Canadians were on the flight.
A man identified as an Australian-UK dual national was also aboard, according to the Australian government.
With its archeological sites and Red Sea resorts, Egypt is a traditional destination for western tourists. But the industry has been badly hit by the downing of a Russian Metrojet flight last October, in which all 224 people on board were killed, as well as by a militant insurgency and a string of bomb attacks. A320s normally seat 150, which means the EgyptAir plane was barely a third full.

  Terrorist Cause?
Greek air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot as the jet flew over the island of Kea, in what was thought to be the last broadcast from the aircraft, and no problems were reported.
But just ahead of the handover to Egyptian controllers, calls to the plane went unanswered.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the US House Intelligence Committee, said no conclusions could be drawn yet but terrorism was a very possible cause.
“If terrorism was indeed the cause, it would reveal a whole new level of vulnerability to aircraft–not only from those flights originating in the Middle East, but to those departing from the heart of Europe and with, at least in theory, far better airport defenses,” he said.
That crash called into question Egypt’s campaign to contain militant violence. Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since Sisi, then serving as army chief, toppled elected president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/UJbo5l
  1. http://goo.gl/Hg8Nur
  • http://goo.gl/nhcnaO
  • http://goo.gl/21GonY
  • http://goo.gl/cyT02G
  • http://goo.gl/f0QMUY

You can also read ...

US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd Annual UN General Assembly in New York on September 19.
Embattled  US President Donald Trump on Tuesday baffled world...
UK Firms Make Huge Profits Selling Weapons to Saudi Arabia
British companies selling weapons have earned hundreds of...
UN Chief Seeks to Avoid War With North Korea
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on...
A worker pastes up an election campaign poster for the upcoming general elections of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) with a headshot of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany on September 12.
Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly narrowed...
Brazil’s Temer at UN Decries Rise in Nationalism, Protectionism
Brazilian President Michel Temer criticized a rise in...
Police Deploy in Kirkuk as Tensions Rise Before Kurdish Vote
Police deployed overnight in the northern Iraqi oil city of...
UN Investigators Demand ‘Full, Unfettered’ Access to Myanmar
UN human rights investigators on Tuesday said they needed “...
Washington, Seoul Talk Nuke Deployment to Korean Peninsula
Washington and Seoul have “discussed the option” of putting...

Trending

Googleplus