Missing Russian plane ‘crashes’ in Egypt’s Sinai
A Russian civilian plane carrying 224 people crashed in Sinai on Saturday, the Egyptian Prime Minister said, amid earlier conflicting reports that the plane was safely continuing its journey.
Egyptian air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus A-321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia, shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to head to Russia, aviation sources told Reuters news agency.
The sources said the passenger plane was mainly carrying Russian tourists.
Security sources in the Sinai Peninsula confirmed reports that an aircraft was missing. But in a conflicting statement, Egypt’s air accident chief had said that the missing passenger plane on its way to Russia had safely left Egyptian airspace and made contact with Turkish air traffic control.
“The … Russian airline had told us that the Russian plane we lost contact with is safe and that it has contacted Turkish air traffic control and is passing through Turkish skies now,” Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the central air traffic accident authority in Egypt, said in a statement.
But local Egyptian media reported the plane had crashed in Sinai, a claim later confirmed by the PM.
A Russian aviation authority source confirmed that radar contact was lost with the passenger jet, according to RIA news agency.
The source said the aircraft is an Airbus A-321 operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia and that it was carrying 224 passengers and crew. The source added that radar contact was lost in Cyprus’ airspace.