RELIVE: EgyptAir MS804 plane crashes after mid-air plunge
Ahram Online, , Thursday 19 May 2016
Ahram Online provided coverage of the EgyptAir MS804 plane, which went missing early on Thursday morning while en route from Paris to Cairo and was later reported to have crashed


Thank you for following our live updates. Ahram Online offers its condolences to the families of the victims of the EgyptAirMS804 plane crash.

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7:00pmEgypt's aviation ministry said a letter it received from the country's foreign ministry says that Greek authorities have found “floating objects” that are part of the plane wreckage.


Pieces of plastic as well as lifejackets have also been found near the island of Karpathos, the ministry added in a statement.

"Family members of passengers and crew have been already informed and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected," EgyptAir said.

"The Egyptian Investigation Team in co-operation with the Greek counterpart are still searching for other remains of the missing plane."

6:40pm France is sending three investigators to Cairo along with a technical expert from Airbus, to join the probe into the EgyptAir flight that crashed Thursday, Transport Minister Alain Vidalies said, according to AFP.

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6:00pmThe Egyptian Armed forces said in a statement that the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Italy, France and Greece are cooperating in the search for the missing plane. The statement confirmed that the search is still ongoing.

5:45pmA Greek frigate discovered two large floating objects in a sea area 230 miles south of the island of Crete, Reuters reported.The objects appeared to be pieces of plastic in white and red. They were spotted close to an area where a transponder signal was emitted earlier, according to Greek defence sources.

5:35pm According to the Guardian correspondent, anEgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo is departing now.

5:15pm Egypt’s aviation ministry denied in a statement reports “about finding the plane debris over the Greek island of Crete.”


“EgyptAir contacted concerned sides who did not confirm the published information is accurate,” read the statement.

4:45pmEgypt’s State TV says no confirmation yet from Egypt's aviation ministry that plane wreckage has been found.

4:30pm Egypt's health ministry announced that family members of the victims of the EgyptAir MS804 plane were aided by a medical team at Cairo International Airport for conditions varying from a mental breakdown to a rise in blood pressure.

Nine family members received aid at the Airport while one was referred to EgyptAir Hospital.

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3:50pm Greek state TV said authorities found aircraft parts in the sea while looking for the missing flight MS308, Reuters reported.



3:15pmGreek military official says an Egyptian search plane has located two orange items believed to be from the missing EgyptAir flight, AP reported.

The official says the items were found 230 miles (370 kilometers) south-southeast of the island of Crete but still within the Egyptian air traffic control area. One of the items was oblong, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations.


3:08pmMissing EgyptAir MS804 debris found South of Greek Island of Karpathos in Southern Meditereanean according to Greek State TV



2:35pmEgyptian aviation minister Fathy told reporters during the press conference that the “possibility of a terror attack is higher than that of a technical error,” according to an Ahram Online reporter.

Answering Ahram Online's question on why he believes it was likely a terrorist attack rather than a technical error, Fathy said: "I said so based on what I read and from my expertise, but these remain assumptions and possible scenarios. I will still use the word ‘missing’ till we find the debris."



2:20pm Egypt's Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek ordered an investigation into the incident, according to a prosecution statement.
Sadek commissioned the Supreme State Security Prosecution to conduct investigations into the matter.



2:15pmEgypt’s aviation minister said that the last contact with plane was at 2:30am Cairo time. Authorities tried to contact the flight again at 2:50am but there was no response.

Fathy also said that Egypt will cooperate with French authorities to investigate to the disappearance of the plane.

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1:45pmEgypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said in a press conference that Egypt does not refute the assumption that the missing EgyptAir aircraft might have crashed due to a terrorist attack or a malfunction or any other scenario.

Fathy stressed that they will continue to say that the Airbus 320 is “missing until the debris is found.”



1:40pmRussian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday that a terrorist act might be linked to the disappearance of EgyptAir's MS 804.
“It is extremely unfortunate that today one more incident happened with a plane from the Egyptian Airlines. It seems that this is a terrorist act, which resulted in the deaths of 66 citizens from around 12 countries,” Bortnikov said during a press conference.
Egypt said that it is not ruling out that the airliner may have crashed due to a terrorist attack or a technical malfunction.



1:30pmGreece's civil aviation department released a statement with a timeline on Egypt Air MS 804's latest moments and Greek attempts to contact it.



1:10pmGreek's Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said on Thursday that no results have been obtained so far in the search for the missing EgyptAir aircraft, Reuters reported.

Kammenos said that until now there was only a picture obtained of the missing plane that was in Egyptian airspace mid-air and made sudden swerves.

"At 3.39am the course of the aircraft was south and south-east of Kassos and Karpathos (islands)..immediately after it entered Cairo FIR and made swerves and a descent I describe; 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right," Defence Minister Panos Kammenos told a news conference.

Earlier, Egypt's army spokesman said the search for the plane that disappeared from radar monitors while en Route from Paris to Cairo was taking place where the plane reportedly went missing, with the participation of jets from Greece.

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12:50Families of the EgyptAir crash victims said that they have no information and that the company said they will get in contact with them when they do, an Ahram Online reporter, Lina Wardani, at Cairo International Airport said.The families refused to speak to the press and covered their faces.



12:40 Egypt's National Security Council, headed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, decided to continue the search efforts through Egyptian military jets and navy vessels, and to work on uncovering the circumstances behind the plane's disappearance as soon as possible in cooperation with France and Greece.

The council, attended by several ministers including the civil aviation minister, also decided to mandate the government with offering all means of aid to the families of passengers and crew members, and called on the crisis management centre at EgyptAir to follow up on the developments and announce any new details



12:20French President Francois Hollande has announced that they have confirmation that the EgyptAir plane reported missing has been 'crashed and disappeared'.Hollande stressed that no hypothesis should be ruled out, but they are keen on "finding the truth".
Earlier, France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday "no theory can be ruled out" in the missing EgyptAir flight.


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12:10According to AP, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says "nothing is confirmed" regarding the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight and is warning against some unverified information in circulation.

Ayrault, speaking after meeting with families gathered at a hotel at Charles de Gaulle airport, tells journalists the priority is "solidarity" with them and extended a "message of compassion and support."

He says French authorities are in direct contact with Greek and Egyptian authorities.

11:35 Airbus released a statement saying that it "regrets to confirm the loss of an Egypt Air A320, flight ‪#‎MS804 "
According to Airbus, the plane went missing at around 2:30 am (local Egypt time) over the Mediterranean Sea, with a scheduled service operating from Paris to Cairo.
It stressed that until now no further factual information is available, adding that it will provide more details as soon as they are confirmed and cleared by authorities for release.
Airbus expressed its readiness to provide full technical assistance to the French Investigation Agency and to authorities in charge of the investigation.
The company provided details about the aircraft involved, which was delivered to EgyptAir from the production line in November 2003 and accumulated 48,000 flight hours with IAE engines.

11:30According to AP, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says "nothing is confirmed" regarding the disappearance of the EgyptAir flight and is warning against some unverified information in circulation.

Ayrault, speaking after meeting with families gathered at a hotel at Charles de Gaulle airport, tells journalists the priority is "solidarity" with them and extended a "message of compassion and support."
He says French authorities are in direct contact with Greek and Egyptian authorities.

11.20Egypt's army said it is taking all the necessary procedures to find the missing plane by dispatching a number of rescue and search jets along with navy vessels specialised in rescue and relief operations.

A high alert has been imposed in military hospitals and the army is currently in coordination with the cabinet and the foreign and civil aviation ministers to provide the needed support.

The army spokesman said the search for the disappeared plane is taking place where the plane reportedly went missing, with the participation of jets from Greece.

Fifty-six passengersincluding 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, one Briton, one Canadian, one Sudanese,one Chadian,one Portuguese,one Algerian, one Belgian, oneKuwaiti and one Saudiwere on board of the missing plane in addition to10 crew members.



11.05According to Reuters, Greece is deploying military aircraft and a frigate to an area in the southern Mediterranean where an EgyptAir aircraft vanished from radar screens early on Thursday, its defence ministry said.

Meanwhile, AP reports that the French military says a Falcon surveillance jet monitoring the Mediterranean for migrants has been dispatched to help search for the EgyptAir flight that crashed in the area.

Military spokesman Col. Gilles Jaron told The Associated Press that the jet is joining the Egypt-led search effort, and the French navy may send another plane and a ship to the zone.

He said the Falcon was on a surveillance mission as part of EU efforts to monitor migrants crossing the Mediterranean toward Europe.



10.45According to AP, the director of Greece's Civil Aviation Authority says air traffic controllers were in contact with the pilot of the EgyptAir flight as it passed through Greek airspace.

The director, Constantine Lyzerakos, said the plane was at 37,000 feet, traveling at 519 mph, and did not report any problem.

Lyzerakos told private Antenna television that controllers tried to make contact with the pilot 10 miles before the flight exited the Greek Flight Information Range (FIR), but the pilot did not respond. Lyzerakos says controllers continued trying to contact the pilot until 3:39 a.m. Greek time (1239 GMT) when the plane disappeared from the radar.

Lyzerakos says the plane was in Cairo's FIR when it vanished.

10.40 Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault exchanged condolences on the casualties of EgyptAir flight MS804. Meanwhile, there are no confirmations from the Egyptian authorities that the plane has crashed. The two officials stressed that they need to cooperate to understand the reasons behind the crash.

10.25There were no weather issues at the time and in the vicinity of the area where an EgyptAir plane with 66 people on board went missing on Thursday morning, European air traffic network manager Eurocontrol told Reuters.

10.22 France has offered to send planes and boats to the crash area, Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, declared this morning.



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10.20PM Sherif Ismail told reporters at Egypt's international airport that search for the lost EgyptAir plane is still underway and that the crisis management centre is putting into consideration all scenarios that could have led to the disappearance of the plane including terrorism.

Ismail said that the armed forces might have received a plane signal not a pilot signal and that they are still looking into the matter.

Ismail said that a press conference is expected to take place after 1:00pm local time in Cairo to explain the latest updates on the incident.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy told reporters that all officials are closely following the matter and that families of the passengers are present in the airport.



10.10According to AFP and AP, the EgyptAir flight which disappeared on route from Paris to Cairo early Thursday crashed into the sea off the southern Greek island of Karpathos while in Egyptian airspace, a Greek aviation source told AFP.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian aviation ministry says the causes of the disappearance are still unknown and has denied all circulating reports of a crash.

10.00A joint crisis management centre between Egypt and France has been created at France’s international Charles De Gaulles airport to be able help families of passengers who on the lost plane.

9.50EgyptAir said the reasons behind the sudden disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo are still unknown. In their seventh statement since the disappearance of the aircraft, EgyptAir asks all media outlets to be cautious and to stick to their issued press releases.

9.40Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is currently holding an urgent meeting with the National Security Council to follow the latest updates and news on the lost EgyptAir flight. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters from the EgyptAir crisis center that the search is still underway and that there is still no confirmations on the missing plane.

9.35According to AFP, France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that "no theory can be ruled out" as to why the EgyptAir flight went missing.

09:20 According to the armed forces, no distress signal was in fact received from the plane. A brief note posted a few moments ago by the army's official spokesman, Mohamed Samir, on Facebook said that the armed forces "had not received any SOS signal" from the lost plane.

09:15French President Francois Hollande called Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to follow developments, AFP reports. The French president is due to hold a crisis meeting with senior officials later.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has arrived at EgyptAir's crisis centre, the airline reported, where he will follow the situation in person.

09:10 From an EgyptAir statement: An EgyptAir official said that the Egyptian army's rescue and search had received a distress call from the plane at 4:26 Cairo local time.

The implications of this are still unclear.

09:00There are unofficial reports that the plane may indeed have crashed. AP quotes "Egyptian aviation officials" as saying that "the possibility that the plane crashed has been confirmed." The search is currently underway for the debris, the officials said, requesting anonymity as they were not cleared to speak to the press.

08:00The Egyptian army has dispatched jet fighters to search for the missing flight, an army spokesman statement read.

The army is coordinating the search with Greece and Egyptian and Greek naval vessels have been dispatched to hunt for the plane, amid fears it may have crashed in the Mediterranean.

07:45EgyptAir said the 56 passengers including 3 children on board include 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, one Briton, one Canadian, one Sudanese,one Chadian,one Portuguese,one Algerian, one Belgian, oneKuwaiti and one Saudi. Ten staff members were also on board, three of them were security personnel.

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An EgyptAir flight vanished early this morning en route from Paris to Cairo. Radar signals from flight MS804 were lost at 2:30am Cairo time, EgyptAir have said, around the time the flight entered Egyptian airspace over the Mediterranean.

The commercial flight left Paris at 11:09pm GMT and was due to land at Cairo airport at 03:15am local time.

Sources told Al-Ahram Arabic website that air traffic controllers in Athens had failed to establish communication with the pilot after the plane went off the radar.

Fifty-six passengers and 10 crew members are on board.

Authorities say they lost contact with the plane as it was cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet at 2:45am Cairo local time.

Rescue teams and the Egyptian armed forces have been searching the area where the plane was last spotted on the radar.

The company identified the plane as an Airbus 320 manufactured in 2003.

The pilot, who was identified by sources as Captain Mohamed Shokeir, has over 6,000 flight hours while the copilot has over 2,000 hours of flight.

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