No survivors from Russian plane crash

31 October 2015 02:34 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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None of the 224 passengers and crew on board a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula have survived, Egyptian medical and security sources said.

Search and rescue team members are still gathering the remains of victims after the crash on Saturday, the sources said.

The Russian embassy confirmed there were no survivors.

A statement Egypt's civil aviation ministry said the wreckage of the Russian passenger jet was found in the Hassana area, south of the city of el-Arish.

It said the plane took off from Sinai Peninsula's Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular destination for Russian tourists, and disappeared from radar screens 23 minutes after take-off.

Among the passengers were 214 Russians and three Ukrainians, plus seven crew members, the Egyptian government said.

It added in a breakdown that they were 138 women, 62 men and 17 children. No survivors have been found, said one official.

Many bodies, including those of 17 children, had already been found, said Mahmoud al-Zanati, head of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority.

"The search operation is still going on at the site of the accident. The wreckage is spread across a vast area," he added, according to state-run newspaper al-Ahram. 

"A tragic scene"

Egyptian rescue team members earlier said they heard voices in a section of the plane, an officer on the scene told Reuters news agency.

North Sinai security sources said a technical fault caused the crash.

The black box which contains the flight data was also found at the scene.

An Egyptian security officer at the scene said: "A lot of the dead are on the ground, and many died whilst strapped to their seats. I now see a tragic scene.

"The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside."

At Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo airport, anxious family members awaited news of their loved ones.

"I am meeting my parents," said 25-year-old woman, Ella Smirnova, seemingly in shock. "I spoke to them last on the phone when they were already on the plane, and then I heard the news."

"I will keep hoping until the end that they are alive, but perhaps I will never see them again."

Investigation launched

Separately, Egypt's top prosecutor ordered an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Nabil Sadek, the prosecutor general, ordered the formation of a team of prosecutors tasked with going to the site of the crash and investigating the debris.

A centre to help relatives of the passengers has been set up at Pulkovo airport, Tass news agency quoted St Peterburg city officials as saying.

The Airbus 321 was at an altitude of 9,450m when it vanished from radar screens.

Most of the passengers are said to be Russian tourists, according to reports. The plane was operated by the small Russian airline Kogalymavia, based in western Siberia.

The pilot reportedly requested clearance for an emergency landing at Cairo airport due to a technical malfunction.(AlJazeera)
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  Comments - 7

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  • ANTON Sunday, 01 November 2015 12:55 PM

    LOOKS LIKE RUSSIAN PLANES ARE PILOTED BY OUR THREE WHEELER DRIVERS.

    Nadeesha Saturday, 31 October 2015 10:30 PM

    Is there a possibility for a plane to split into two due to a technical malfunction?

    Thirumurugan Sunday, 01 November 2015 03:17 AM

    Airbus has very safety records. Now it has happened

    Cobra Sunday, 01 November 2015 06:14 AM

    An ISIS job?????

    Goliwog Sunday, 01 November 2015 06:53 AM

    A very sad incident which should not happen and be avoided again. It is time to stop cheap airlines operating. It is the maintenance cost they try to save on. Oh! Allah was so near and watching. Sad!

    Goliwog Sunday, 01 November 2015 09:44 AM

    Until recently air travel was considered the safest mode of transport. Not so any more. Rail is the safest. The Supper Express Railway which started service in 1964 has never had a fatal accident. Even Sri Lanka with an obsolete railway, it is still safer that road transport. Improve the railways!

    Goliwog Sunday, 01 November 2015 10:17 AM

    Yes, high pressure in the cabin!


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