An EgyptAir flight MS804 with 66 people on board went missing over the Mediterranean, while flying from France to Egypt.
At a press conference in Paris, French President Francois Hollande confirms that all the information pieced together so far indicates that EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed – but, he says, no hypothesis as to the cause has been ruled out. He said:
“The information we have gathered – ministers, members of government and, of course, the Egyptian authorities – confirm, sadly, that it has crashed. It is lost.”
The Airbus A320 was flying at 37,000 feet when it made sudden swerves – an unusual sharp turns – before vanishing. The clash happened 30 minutes before the expected landing.
Following the crash, a distress signal was detected in the vicinity where the flight disappeared from radar 2 hours later, the airline said. But the distress signal could be automated, rather than sent by a pilot.
There were 66 passengers on board the EgyptAir flight MS804 including 30 Egyptians, 15 French and 10 other nationalities, including one Briton. Three of them were children.
Aviation and security experts have opined that the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo may have been caused by an explosive device. The plane allegedly sent an emergency distress signal before its disappearance.
Experts admitted that there’s a lot of focus on terrorist issues around Paris but warned people to be cautious about drawing conclusions.
They say if it is confirmed the plane did give an emergency signal, that would not rule out terrorism as a possibility because an explosion would not necessarily have caused the immediate destruction of the plane.
Another Air travel experts said no alert being made could mean the airliner suffered a “catastrophic failure” possibly as a result of an explosion.
“It has to be a catastrophic failure because everything went dead and they wouldn’t have had time to get a message out. It’s gone into the deepest part of the Mediterranean.”
But a different analyst said it would not have needed to be a large device – if it was a terrorist-related failure – to lose cabin pressure.
Presumptive Republican nominee for the US Presidential election, Donald Trump weighed in with the following tweet:
Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2016
The disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS804 over the eastern Mediterranean came during a trouble period for the airline, and most for Egyptian air travel and tourism.
It’s disappearance comes not up to two months after EgyptAir flight MS181 was hijacked by a passenger who claimed to have a suicide explosive belt on. It later landed safely in Cyprus and the suicide belt was confirmed to be fake, but the incident a note or record of a misdemeanour or discreditable for an airline with a chequered safety record.
In 1999, EgyptAir 990, a Boeing 767, was brought down by its co-pilot during a flight from New York to Cairo, murdering all 217 people on board, the National Transportation Safety Board said. Egyptian officials denied that the co-pilot was responsible.
Also in 2002, EgyptAir Flight 843, a Boeing 737-566, crashed in bad weather close to Tunis, taking the life 14 of the 62 passengers. In 2009, EU officials raised concerns about “systemic safety deficiencies” in the performance of EgyptAir’s fleet, assuring to monitor the airline ahead of an update safety review.
Afterwards, the EU inspectors said that great progress had been made by the airline but that some but stated that some loopholes exist in the maintenance and engineering.
In July 2011, an EgyptAir Boeing 777-200 was evacuated at Cairo International Airport (CAI) after a fire started in the cockpit. All the passengers survived but the fire, thought to have been started by an electrical fault, damaged the plane beyond repair.
Thursday’s crash over the Mediterranean is another potential blow to Egypt’s tourism industry as a Russian jet which left Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort in October was gunned down over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by terrorist group, slaughtering all 224 people on on board .