A Russian passenger jet broke into pieces while flying in the air Saturday morning in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The plane crash killed all 224 people including 7 crew members aboard.
According to some reports breakdown of the fuselage in the air caused the plane crash and the wreckages are strewn around a large area.
It remains however vague what caused Flight 9268 to disappear from radar and crash to the ground, in clear weather only 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh.
NTV, a Russia’ state-run news channel broadcasted the interview of co-pilot’s ex-wife, who said he had told their daughter about his concerns about the technical condition of the plane.
Since aircraft’s black box that contain flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder was found and sent to Cairo for analysis, investigators are expected to solve the mystery of plane crash.
The Sinai Peninsula is hub of ISIS-affiliated militants who are already in intense confrontation with Egyptian security forces. Although they claimed responsibility through an online post on Saturday for bringing down the Russian passenger plane, but officials in Egypt and Russia dismissed it.
The airport official, Mahjoob, also denied any signs of a terrorist attack. And Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that the terrorists’ claim of bringing down the plane by using an anti-aircraft missile cannot be considered reliable. According to the Egyptian military, militants in Sinai have shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons that cannot shoot beyond 14,000 feet, which is far short of the more than 30,000 feet at which Flight 9268 was flying when it dropped off radar.
It also said that the pilot must have asked the passengers to buckle up because of turbulence in the plane as many of the victims of the crash were found with their seat belts on.
Nevertheless, Air France, the German air carrier Lufthansa and the UAE airlines Etihad, Emirates, AirArabia and Flydubai have decided to reroute planes scheduled to fly over Sinai.
Sisi has assured Putin of his full cooperation and also promised that he will maximum possible participation of Russian experts in the investigation. Putin has also assigned Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to start an investigation into the plane crash.