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Update: French President confirms EgyptAir MS804 crash

Update: French President confirms EgyptAir MS804 crash

The plane was carrying 56 passengers along with three security personnel and seven cabin crew

French President François Hollande has confirmed that EgyptAir MS804, which went missing earlier on Thursday, has crashed.

The flight, carrying 66 people on board, was travelling from Paris to Cairo and disappeared from the radar above the Mediterranean Sea on early Thursday.

In a press conference, Hollande said “no hypothesis” could be ruled out regarding the cause of the crash.

“The information we have gathered confirm, sadly, that it has crashed. It is lost,” he said.

He also offered help in the search for debris.

AFP also quoted the Greek defence minister as saying that the plane fell 22,000 feet and spun sharply before disappearing.

Egypt’s ministry of civil aviation Sherif Fathy said “we will be using the term the missing plane until we find the wreckage.”

The airline had earlier said that the Egyptian Armed Forces, who are conducting a search and rescue mission, received a distress signal from the plane’s emergency devices at 4.26am – two hours after losing contact. However, this was later denied.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismael is following up the situation from the EgyptAir crisis center and has directed the concerned authorities to take all necessary action for dealing with the crisis.

Earlier, EgyptAir stressed that it was still investigating the incident and urged media outlets to refrain from speculating about the cause of the disappearance.

The airline has confirmed that there were 56 passengers on board including one child and two babies, along with three security personnel and seven cabin crew. The passengers’ nationalities include 30 Egyptians, 15 French, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one British, One Belgian, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian.

Read: Saudi, Kuwaiti on board missing EgyptAir flight

The Airbus A320 aircraft left the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at 11.09pm on Wednesday night and was scheduled to arrive in Cairo at 3.15am local time on Thursday morning. It lost contact and disappeared from the radar at 2.30am, about 280 miles from the Egyptian coast. The plane was at a height of 37,000ft.

According to EgyptAir, the pilot has 6,275 flying hours including 2,101 hours on the A320, while the co-pilot has 2,766 flying hours.

The plane was manufactured in 2003, it said.

In a statement Airbus confirmed the accident.

“The aircraft involved, registered under SU-GCC was MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 2088 was delivered to EgyptAir from the production line in November 2003. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 48,000 flight hours. It was powered by IAE engines. At this time no further factual information is available,” it said.

“Airbus stands-by ready to provide full technical assistance to French Investigation Agency and to the authorities in charge of the investigation,” it added.

FILE PHOTO - An Egyptair Airbus A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, March 29, 2016. Courtesy: Reuters
FILE PHOTO – An Egyptair Airbus A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus, March 29, 2016. Courtesy: Reuters

“EgyptAir is closely following the situation with the competent authorities through the integrated operations centre,” it said on Twitter.

Special teams and the Egyptian Armed Forces have arrived at the specified location and are continuing the search operation, it added. Greece is also providing support.

EgyptAir has hosted the passengers’ families near to Cairo Airport and has provided doctors, translators and all the necessary services.

The company has offered toll free numbers for information: 080077770000 from any landline in Egypt and + 202 25989320 outside Egypt or any mobile in Egypt.

Also read:
EgyptAir hijacking ends with no casualties

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