Terrorism prime suspect in downing of EgyptAir flight

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© Mehdi Nazarinia via Planespotters.net
EgyptAir Airbus A320 was in flight MS804 when it disappeared.

UPDATE: The Egyptian authorities have admitted that terrorism is more likely than a technical failure, as reports flood in about possible debris being found as searchers came across two floating objects in the sea 50 miles south of the island of Karpathos.

As yet there have been no claims of responsibility but conditions were thought to be perfect before the plane suddenly swerved out of control and crashed in the Mediterranean. 

Further updates to follow.

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THE EgyptAir MS804 from Paris to Cairo has disappeared from radar.

The airline has stated that 66 people are on board the aircraft, of which 56 were passengers, three children, seven crew members and three security personnel.

EgyptAir has confirmed that the plane sent a distress signal before it disappeared. Amongst the passengers were 30 Egyptian citizens, 15 French nationals, two Iraqi citizens and one Briton, as well as nationals of Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal.

The flight departed Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at 11:09pm local time on Wednesday 18 May and was due to arrive in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, at 03:00am local time on Thursday 19 May. 

However, contact with the aircraft was lost at 02:45am Cairo time, when the plane was flying over the eastern Mediterranean.

Sherif Ismail, Prime Minister of Egypt, has now arrived at the airport in Cairo along with relatives of those on board. Emergency services are currently searching for wreckage.

This is the latest in a line of aviation incidents that have taken place in Egypt. In March 2016, a hijacker diverted an EgyptAir aircraft to Cyprus under threat of blowing up the flight and all those on board. 

Emergency services managed to free hostages upon the aircraft´s landing in Cyprus and the perpetrator was later concluded to be psychologically unstable. The bomb belt was discovered to be a fake.

In October 2015, a Russian plane flying from Sharm el-Sheikh crashed in the Sinai Peninsula. It has since been determined that this was caused by the detonation of an explosive device, which killed all 224 people on board. Some passengers were travelling with their children. Islamic State Militants took responsibility for the attack.

It is currently unclear what has led to the disappearance of the MS804 aircraft; however Egyptian aviation officials have speculated that the plane has more than likely crashed into the sea.  A search is now underway for debris.

French president François Hollande has expressed his sympathy for the families of those on board, and Greece has now joined the search-and-rescue operation.

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