EgyptAir flight 'disappears' between Paris and Cairo

EgyptAir flight 'disappears' between Paris and Cairo
2 min read
19 May, 2016
An Egyptian passenger plane carrying 66 people has gone missing - believed to be over Egyptian air space - on a flight between Paris and Cairo.
An Egypt Air flight has gone missing over Egypt [AFP]

Egyptian and Greek search and rescue teams are working off the coast of Egypt, after a plane went missing carrying 66 passengers and is believed to have crashed into the sea. 

The EgyptAir plane was travelling between the French capital Paris and Cairo when it disappeared from the radar, the airliner said. 

An Egyptian civil aviation agency official told Reuters that they believed the plane had crashed into the sea.

As dawn broke, planes and vessels from the Egyptian military and Greek search and rescue teams rushed to the possible crash site in the Mediterranean Sea.

They have been combing the area looking for signs of the aircraft.

EgyptAir said that contact was lost with flight MS804 at 2:45am Egypt time.

EgyptAir's Vice Chairman Ahmad Abdel gave a summary to CNN saying that the pilot did not issue a distress call.

The flight included 56 passengers, five cabin crew, three security and two cockpit crew. Among the passengers are two infants and one baby, he said. Thirty passengers are Egyptian, 15 French, two Iraqis and one British.

Abdel said that a search is underway between 30 and 40 miles north of the Egyptian coast.  

He added that the missing plane entered EgyptAir's service in November 2003. It is believed to have been the aircraft's fifth flight that day.

France's President Francois Hollande has set up a special crisis unit - led by him - to investigate the disapearance.

Meanwhile, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said all avenues are being explored.

"No theory can be ruled out on the cause of this disappearance," he said.

Missing flight

EgyptAir made the announcement on Twitter earlier in the morning.

"An informed source at EGYPTAIR stated that Flight no MS804,which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST),heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar," a tweet read on its Twitter account.
 
The flight should have taken around three-and-half hours and went missing shortly after entering Egyptian air space, at an altitude of 37,000 feet, reports suggest.

It is believed the Airbus A320 was ten miles into Egyptian air space when it lost contact.

France has been rocked by a planned strike from air traffic controllers, which could has created chaos at some airports with dozens of flights cancelled.

There are already concerns that the passengers could have been the victim of a terror attack.

In October, the Islamic State group said it bombed a Russian airliner travelling from the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board.

An EgyptAir flight was hijacked by a man in March and was forced to land in Cyprus. The Egyptian man said he carried out the hijacking for personal reasons, but nobody was harmed.

Agencies contributed to this story.