UPDATE: ‘External influence’ caused Sinai plane crash

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flickr by JHenryW / Justus Weiss
Air traffic controlers lost contact 23 minutes after the flight took off from Sharm el Sheikh airport

 UPDATED: Russian airline blamed “external influence” for Sinai plan crash, which killed 224 people.

A senior official side: “The only reasonable explanation is that it was [due to] external influence.”

Investigation from the aircraft’s “black boxes” are yet to be given by aviation experts, but the head of Russia’s Federal Aviation Agency Aleksandr Neradko said it was too early to determine what caused the crash.

“This kind of talk is… not based on any proper facts,” Mr Neradko said on Russian TV

President of Russia Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to victims’ families and described the crash as an “enormous tragedy.”

“Without any doubt, everything must be done to create an objective picture of events so that we know what happened and can react accordingly,” he said.

Pilot error and technical faults have been ruled out as causes to the crash by deputy director of the airline Alexander Smirnov, at a news conference in Moscow.

“The only [explanation] for the plane to have been destroyed in mid-air can be specific impact, purely mechanical, physical influence on the aircraft,” Alexander Smirnov said.

“There is no such combination of failures of systems which could have led to the plane disintegrating in the air,” he added.


A RUSSIAN passenger plane with 224 people on board has crashed in southern Arish in Sinai, the Egyptian Prime Minister’s office has informed.

The plane took off from the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh on its way to St Petersburg but disappeared from radars 23 minutes after taking off according to the Egyptian state news agency.

Although Russian authorities have yet to confirm the crash, aviation sources have reported that the missing Airbus A321 belonging to Russian airline Kogalymavia was carrying 200 adult passengers, 17 children and seven crew members.

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