Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said Saturday it is too early to decide the cause of the crash of a Russian passenger airliner in the Sinai Peninsula, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.
The Airbus A-321 jet had 217 passengers and seven crew members on board and was operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia.
Egyptian air traffic control lost contact with the civilian airliner shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh at 5.58am to head to Russia's St Petersburg, aviation sources said Saturday. The plane lost contact with radar at 6.20am Cairo Local Time (CLT).
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail headed to Sinai along with other ministers to closely monitor developments.
Earlier Saturday, pilot Ayman Al-Mokadem, who is heading a committee to monitor the crash aftermath, said the crash was probably caused by a "technical error" and that the plane was not shot down.