EgpytAir flight MS804 has disappeared from radars between Paris and Cairo, carrying 66 people (56 passengers, 2 cockpit crew, 5 cabin crew and 3 security personnel) on board. The news was confirmed by EgypgAir on Twitter.
The vessel departed the Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11.09pm Paris time, and it was nearly 37,000 feet when it vanished about 2.45am Cairo time. The plane was about 3 hours and 40 minutes into its journey when it disappeared.
An informed source at EGYPTAIR reported that EGYPTAIR Flight No MS 804 has lost communication with radar tracking system at 02:45 (CLT)
— EGYPTAIR (@EGYPTAIR) May 19, 2016
Search operations are currently under way over the Mediterranean Sea.
This image shows the last satellite communication from the aircraft:
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) May 19, 2016
[UPDATED] 20 May 2016 – 10am
It is learnt that among the passengers are 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, and one person each from the UK, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada. Three children are on board, including two babies.
Greek defence minister Panos Kammeno said the plane made “sudden swerves” 90-degree left, and then dropped from 37,000 feet to 15,000 feet before swerving 360 degrees right. The aircraft then dropped off the radar over the Mediterranean, it is presumed.
No group has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft, and search teams still have no sign of the Airbus A320 even though there were claims that floating debris had been found. It was later concluded that the debris is not from the aircraft.
Egypt’s aviation minister Sherif Fathy mentioned that terrorism was more likely than a technical failure to be the cause of the crash.
[UPDATED] 22 May 2016 – 12pm
More than 100 pieces of debris and body parts have been retrieved from EgyptAir flight MS804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Search teams are still scouring the seas for flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
Chunks of debris include a life vest, seat, purse, carpet, scarf, parts of chairs and cushions, and a sling bag. The EgyptAir sign appears on one piece of wreckage.
Data has also shown that smoke alerts were raised from the vessel’s lavatory just three minutes before the plane went down.