A Russian plane carrying over 200 people from Egypt to Russia disappeared from radars Saturday afternoon. According to Russian and Egyptian authorities, the Russian airliner is believed to have crashed in central Sinai region of Egypt. The Russian airliner A 321 (#7K9268) was travelling from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Russia. As per the latest reports, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has now confirmed the unfortunate incident.
In a statement from his office, Prime Minister Ismail said the Russian plane which went missing over Sinai has crashed in the central Sinai. The PM has also formed a cabinet level crisis committee and called for an urgent meeting to deal with the incident.
Relief operations were soon pressed into action with security forces surrounding the area of the crash and ambulances rushed to the place of the incident.
Earlier, the Egyptian air traffic control (ATC) lost contact with the Airbus shortly after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. The plane was carrying 212 passengers and 7 crew members. 17 of the passengers are children.
According to the reports in local press, Egyptian authorities have begun the process to assess damages and the casualties.
The aircraft belonged to Kogalymavia airline, an airline based in Western Siberia, Russian media reported.
Before the unfortunate incident was confirmed by the authorities, there were conflicting reports on the fate of the missing aircraft. The head of central air traffic accident authority in Egypt, Ayman al-Muqaddam had announced that the missing passenger plane on its way to Russia had safely left Egyptian airspace and made contact with Turkish air traffic control.
“Russian airline had told us that the Russian plane we lost contact with is safe and that it has contacted Turkish air traffic control and is passing through Turkish skies now,” Ayman al-Muqaddam was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters earlier.
(With reports from the PTI/Agencies)